World Bulletin / News Desk
Iran said Turkey's plans to deploy Patriot defensive missiles near its border with Syria would add to the region's problems, as fears grow of the Syrian civil war spilling across frontiers.
Turkey asked NATO for the Patriot system, designed to intercept aircraft or missiles, last week after talks about how to shore up security on its 900-km (560-mile) border.
"The installation of such systems in the region has negative effects and will intensify problems in the region," Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani said on returning from a trip to Syria, Lebanon and Turkey on Saturday evening, according to Iranian state news agency IRNA.
Ramin Mehmanparast, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, told the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) on Sunday that deploying the Patriot system "will not only not help solve the situation in Syria, it will actually make the situation more difficult and complicated as well".
Syria has called Turkey's request for the Patriot missiles "provocative", and Russia said the move could increase risks in the conflict.
Iran has steadfastly supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad throughout the 20-month-old uprising against his rule.
Turkey's missile request may have riled Damascus because it could be seen as a first step toward implementing a no-fly zone over Syrian airspace.
Syrian rebels have been requesting a no-fly zone to help them hold territory against a government with overwhelming firepower from the air, but most foreign governments are reluctant to get sucked into the conflict.
Turkey fears security on its border may crumble as the Syrian army fights harder against the rebels, some of whom have enjoyed sanctuary in Turkey.
Heavy fighting has often erupted along Syria's border with Turkey. Ankara has scrambled fighter jets and returned fire after stray Syrian shells and mortar bombs landed in its territory.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Sunday no one should be concerned by the use of Patriots.
"These systems are solely defensive mechanisms, and will not become active unless there is a direct threat to our country's security," Davutoglu said, speaking to CNN Turk.
"The aim of this action is to protect Turkey's borders as much as possible at a time of crisis. The Patriots will be sent back when the risks to Turkey's security disappear."
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu holds joint news conference with Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari in Baghdad
President addresses massive crowd in western city of Bursa before ruling AK Party's Women Branch congress
'There is no other way to clear our borders from terror,' says Bahceli
Deadly siege of iconic hotel in Afghan capital leaves several people dead
Howitzers responded to PYD/PKK group’s harassing fire at Turkey’s border province of Kilis.
Free Syrian Army troops also entered PYD/PKK occupied areas in northern Syria
Turkish jets heard flying in southern Hatay province's Reyhanli and Kirikhan districts near Syrian border
Operation in Syria's Manbij to come next, Turkish president says
Premier Yildirim: Operation in Syria’s Afrin aims to end cruelty of PKK/PYD, ISIL terror groups in region
Terrorist organization's shelters, hideouts destroyed during Jan.19-20 strikes
Turkish religious head describes Juneidi as symbol of Palestinian heroic resistance to US Jerusalem move
Ibrahim Kalin, H.R. McMaster talk Syria, Iraq, Fetullah Terrorist Organization, according to Turkish presidential statement
Anti-terror police carries simultaneous operation in Arnavutkoy and Avcilar districts
Dozens of others injured during bus crash in central Eskisehir province
Local and foreign tourists alongside trekking and mountaineering groups lured by famed line running from Ankara to Kars