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Tehran to Ankara: Our Patience has Limits | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim–AFP Photo/ADEM ALTAN

London, Ankara – Tension increased on Monday between Turkey and Iran after a regional and U.S. united front took place in Munich to face the Iranian conduct in the region.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned Turkish ambassador in Tehran Raza Hakan Tekin on Monday over recent anti-Iran remarks by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and President Recep Tayyep Erdogan. Cavusoglu had accused Iran of seeking to spread sectarianism in Syria and Iraq.

Hours before the Iranian decision to summon the Turkish ambassador, Iran Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said: “We hope they speak about Iran more wisely to avoid our response. We will be patient with Turkey. But there is a certain cap for our patience.”

Qasemi said his country is against setting up a safe-zone in Syria, as recently proposed by Turkey.

“Turkey’s proposal is not right and will worsen the problems. We refuse it,” Qasemi told a press conference.

It was the second time that Qasemi lashes out at Turkey in the past two days.

On Sunday, Qasemi said: “Those who have carried out interference, illegal and illegitimate measures, supported terrorist groups and caused bloodshed and escalation of tensions and instability in the region cannot evade liability for such moves by playing a blame game.”

In return, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim fiercely lashed out at the Iranian conduct and warned from Iran’s “sectarian policy” in Syria and Iraq – and Tehran’s possible efforts to “expand its zone of influence.”

Yildirim said that Saudi Arabia and Gulf States were also annoyed by Tehran’s conduct. He added that Ankara would continue its constructive policies to achieve peace and security in the region.

During the closing day of the Munich Security Conference held in Germany on Sunday, several speakers criticized the escalatory role played by Iran in shaking stability in the region.