The planned deployment of NATO Patriot missiles along Turkey’s border with Syria could lead to a “world war” that would threaten Europe as well, Iran’s military chief of staff said, according to Reuters.
Turkey asked NATO for the Patriot system, designed to intercept aircraft or missiles, in November to help bolster its border security after gunfire from war-torn Syria spilled into Turkish territory.
General Hassan Firouzabadi, the Iranian armed forces chief, said Tehran wanted its neighbor Turkey to feel secure but called for NATO to drop plans to deploy the Patriots.
“Each one of these Patriots is a black mark on the world map, and is meant to cause a world war,” Firouzabadi was quoted as saying by the Iranian Students’ News Agency. “They are making plans for a world war, and this is very dangerous for the future of humanity and for the future of Europe itself.”
Iran has been a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad throughout the 21-month uprising against his rule.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed an order on Friday to send two Patriot missile batteries to Turkey along with American personnel to operate them, following similar steps by Germany and the Netherlands.