Security wall along Turkish border not against Iran's national interests: Tehran

Published 20.08.2017 21:46
Updated 20.08.2017 21:47

Amid gradually increasing ties between Turkey and Iran, the latter has recently changed its mind in regard to the security wall being built along the Turkish-Iranian border as Iranian Parliamentary National Security Commission Foreign Relations Committee head Murtaza Safari Natanzi said the wall does not go against Iran's national interests.

Even though Iranian Ambassador to Ankara Mohammad Ebrahim Taherian Fard said earlier in June that it was not the time to build walls between the countries, Natanzi said the wall, in fact, is not against Tehran's interests.

"It is said that Turkey is building this wall to prevent PKK terrorists from sneaking onto Turkish soil. The wall will be beneficial for Iran in preventing illegal trespassing and protecting the Iranian borders as well. We should not approach this action that Turkey has started in a negative manner," Natanzi said.

When asked about a plan by the Turkish government to erect a wall along the Iranian border similar to the one along the Syrian border, Iranian ambassador to Ankara Fard said that Ankara would make the final decision. "It is Turkey's decision to make. However, the president says that the times of erecting walls are over. The times of building bridges have begun."

The supportive statement with regard to the security wall along the border came shortly after Iranian Chief of General Staff. Gen. Mohammed Bagheri's three-day visit to Ankara where he met with his Turkish counterpart, Gen. Hulusi Akar and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

In the meetings, the two sides agreed to exert joint efforts against illegal trespassing and terrorist groups. Furthermore, Bagheri told Iranian media outlets that he shook hands with Gen. Akar on intelligence sharing and operational collaboration.

There are several camps that belong to the PKK, hosting approximately 1,000 terrorists, along the Iranian border. In the case of military operations against PKK bases in eastern Turkey, the terrorists can easily go beyond the border and take shelter in those camps or illegally cross the border and enter the country. In order to prevent such crossings, a plan has been made for a wall to be built along the Iranian border, similar to the one on Turkey's Syrian border.

The wall encompassing Turkey's volatile border with its southern neighbor of Syria is one of the longest walls in the world. A 77-kilometer (48-mile) section of the 105-kilometer-long wall between Azaz and Jarablus, two previously Daesh-controlled Syrian towns cleared by the Free Syrian Army (FSA), has already been completed. Turkish authorities have announced that the wall was finished in the first half of 2017.

The concrete blocks, which individually measure 2 meters (6.6 feet) wide, 3 meters high and weigh 7 tons, are being installed along a border where Turkey faces the threat of infiltration and attacks by Daesh.

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