Erdoğan: Iran's efforts to dominate Middle East cannot be tolerated
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULMar 26, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Mar 26, 2015 12:00 am
President Erdoğan said that Iran's efforts to dominate the Middle East is intolerable and the their efforts have been disturbing countries such as Saudi Arabia and Gulf states in the region.
In a press conference on Thursday, Erdoğan blamed Iran for supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying that a foreign policy that sides with the killer of 300,000 people in Syria cannot be acceptable.
Erdoğan also said the conflicts in the region and Yemen have evolved into a sectarian one and urged Iran to withdraw. "Iran has to change its view. It has to withdraw any forces, whatever it has in Yemen, as well as Syria and Iraq and respect their territorial integrity," he said.
Earlier today, Erdoğan made some similar remarks regarding the Yemen crisis and slammed Iran's involvement in the region.
"The aim of Iran is to increase its influence in Iraq. The country is trying to chase ISIS from the region only to take its place," Erdoğan told France 24 in an interview.
He also expressed Turkey's support to Saudi Arabia's military intervention in Yemen and said that Turkey could provide "logistical" support for Saudi operation against Iran-allied Houthi rebels.
Saudi Arabia and a coalition of regional allies launched a military operation against Shiite rebels in Yemen on Thursday.
The ore-dawn strikes barraged an air base near the airport in the capital, Sanaa, as well as anti-aircraft positions and military bases and flattened a number of homes near the airport, killing at least 18 civilians. The Houthis mobilized thousands of supporters in protest against the strikes, with one speaker lashing out at the Saudi-led coalition and warning that Yemen "will be the tomb" of the aggressors.
US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed support for the strikes in a conference call with Gulf foreign ministers and said the U.S. had shared intelligence against Houthi targets, according to a State Department official traveling with Kerry in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Iran, which is claimed to be arming the Houthis, denounced the bombing, and noted the civilian deaths. "This invasion will bear no result but expansion of terrorism and extremism throughout the whole region," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said in a statement.