Turkey voices concern over regional tensions

January 17, 2020 - 18:45

TEHRAN — Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has voiced concerns over regional tensions in the aftermath of the U.S. assassination of Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, calling for concerted action to preserve stability and calm.

He made the remarks in a phone conversation with Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, Iran’s Armed Forces Chief of Staff.

Akar also offered his condolences to the Iranian government, nation and military over the assassination of General Soleimani, Tasnim reported.

“Unfortunately, the assassination and martyrdom of General Soleimani triggered successive and delicate incidents in the region, which could be greatly worrying,” the Turkish defense minister added.

He also stressed the need for collective cooperation to maintain stability in the region and prevent terrorists from taking advantage of the situation.

For his part, the top Iranian commander denounced the American assassination of General Soleimani as an “inhumane, unfair and immoral” move that violated all legal and international regulations.

He said the assassination, in addition to the U.S. attacks on the bases of Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in Iraq or the military bases of Syria, have set off a new round of tensions in the region.

“While the Americans themselves had pushed the region to the brink of a broad skirmish by assassinating General Soleimani and his companions, they were sending messages to prevent an escalation of tensions. But the Islamic Republic of Iran displayed its decisive will to protect its rights with a retaliatory operation against the American military base of Ain al-Assad, and proved that if the U.S. acts of mischief continue, it will receive heavier responses,” General Baqeri stated.

He emphasized that Iran does not favor escalating tensions, but it would harshly respond to any irrational and aggressive action.

“We hope that disorder and conflicts would be eradicated with the retreat of the U.S. from the region,” the senior Iranian commander added.

MH/PA

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