Iranian lawmaker says Patriot missiles in Turkey to create regional military imbalance

December 29, 2012 8:59 am 

TEHRAN, Dec. 29 — Iranian lawmaker Nozar Shafiei said Friday that the deployment of NATO's Patriot missile systems in Turkey will create military imbalance in the region, Press TV reported.

"The deployment of Patriot missile systems will destroy the strategic balance in the region," Shafiei, a member of Iranian Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, was quoted as saying.

In November, NATO foreign ministers approved Turkey's request to deploy Patriot missile systems in its border region to bolster its defense against possible strikes from neighboring Syria.

NATO's move is aimed at "further selling and testing its own weapons in the region," the Iranian lawmaker said, adding that this will exacerbate conflicts in the region, particularly in Syria, and will turn certain regional countries into the main buyers of weapons.

The deployment of Patriot missiles would encourage arms race in the region, he was quoted as saying.

The Iranian lawmaker pointed at the importance of peace for economic development of the regional states, and warned that the intensification of crisis in the Middle East would bar regional countries from making economic growth. (PNA/Xinhua)

LAM/RSM

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