Iran summons Ankara ambassador over comments by Turkish ministers

Iran summons Ankara ambassador over comments by Turkish ministers
Iran summoned the Turkish ambassador in Tehran on Monday following comments made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim accusing Iran of destabilising the region.
2 min read
21 February, 2017
Ghasemi said Iran may soon lose its patience with Turkey [Anadolu]

The Turkish ambassador was summoned by Iran's foreign ministry on Monday following comments made by his country's leaders at a Munich security conference over the weekend.

Ambassador Hakan Tekin's appearance at the foreign ministry followed remarks earlier in the day by Bahram Ghasemi, the ministry spokesman.

Ghasemi said Iran may soon lose its patience with Turkey if it continues making "sarcastic remarks against Iran", the official IRNA news agency reported.

On Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told delegates at the Munich conference "Iran wants to turn Syria and Iraq into Shia," state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Cavusoglu urged Tehran to "revise its regional policies and take constructive steps, rather than criticising countries that voice criticism of Iran".

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim voiced concerns over Iran's "sectarian policy" in Syria and Iraq and possible efforts to "expand its zone of influence."

Iran and Turkey have close ties despite sharply different views regional issues, which include supporting opposite sides in the Syrian conflict.

Tehran supports President Bashar Assad's regime and his Shia allies who have been fighting Turkey-backed rebels in Syria.

In Iraq, the Islamic Republic trains and funds most of the predominantly Shia Popular Mobilisation Units, who have been highly critical of Turkey's military presence there.