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Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:21PM
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (file photo)

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (file photo)

Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says deployment of NATO Patriot missiles along the Turkish border with Syria is more provocative than deterrent. “The deployment of Patriot missiles will certainly not help establish security and stability in the region,” Salehi said on Sunday “Our assessment is that this measure will do nothing but create more tension or God forbid lead to an uncalculated measure,” the Iranian foreign minister added. Salehi said the Syrian issue must be resolved by Syrians and without foreign interference, stressing that Iran has no intention for meddling in the internal affairs of other states and is merely working towards what Syrians want. On November 21, Ankara formally asked NATO to deploy Patriot missiles on its border with Syria. Despite strong opposition from Russia, Syria, China and Iran, the NATO military alliance on December 4 approved Turkey’s request for the deployment of Patriot surface-to-air missiles along its border with Syria. All the six Patriot batteries, which will be under NATO command and control, are scheduled to be operational near the Turkish-Syria border by the end of January 2013. Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the turmoil. The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of militants are foreign nationals. PG/HGH/SS
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