Iran: Turkey is ‘expansionist and interventionist’ force in region

Iranian Foreign Ministry

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has issued a written statement in response to remarks by Turkish President Racep Tayyip Erdogan and Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak, calling Ankara an “expansionist and interventionist force” in the region.

Speaking on Saturday, President Erdogan had said “Sectarian tensions in Iraq are rising. The situation in Iraq is derived from Iran, a place that gets its dynamism from sectarian tension – well actually, it is racism – Iran is now developing its historic racism with expansionist policies.”

“Erdogan’s comments on Iran are unacceptable. Unfortunately, the Turkish government’s unfounded, interventionist and provocative statements about their neighbours are continuing. By laying blame on others and fabricating imaginative allegations, Ankara is trying to cover up its own expansionist and interventionist policies towards its neighbours,” the Iranian foreign ministry’s statement read.

The Foreign Ministry’s statement also responded to comments by Turkey’s deputy prime minister – who had claimed that 3 million Iranians were trying to flee to Turkey – as “irrelevant and strange”.

“Iran has welcomed millions of refugees from neighbouring countries over the past 30 years. Turkey should learn not to abuse humanitarian issues for political purposes, just like Iran has never done,” the statement continued.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry concluded by calling on Turkey to respect the sovereignty of both Iraq and Syria and the aspirations of their peoples.