Turkey’s Claims Aimed at Justifying Expansionist Policies: Iran

Bahram Ghasemi

Iran has dismissed the recent “unacceptable and unjustifiable” remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against Tehran, saying Ankara is leveling accusations against other countries to justify its expansionist policies.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi expressed regret on Sunday that Turkish officials continue to make “baseless, meddlesome and troublesome” remarks against the country’s neighbors.

“By accusing others and repeating fictitious claims, they [Turkish officials] are trying to justify their meddlesome and expansionist policies toward their neighbors,” he added.

Speaking at a Turkish-British forum in the southern city of Antalya on Saturday, the Turkish president accused Iran of adopting and pursuing “racist and discriminatory” policies in Iraq.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The Iranian spokesperson also dismissed as incorrect comments by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak, who recently claimed that some three million refugees, mostly Afghans, were trying to go to Turkey from Iran, expressing concern that Iran was “ignoring their demand for migration.”

“Iran has been hosting millions of refugees from its neighboring countries for more than 30 years,” Qassemi said.

“Turkey must learn from Iran how it has hosted millions of refugees for more than three decades and has never abused this human and humanitarian issue for specific and politically-motivated purposes against any other country.”

He recommended Turkish officials to avoid conflating humanitarian issues with political disputes, urging them to respect the national sovereignty of their neighboring states, particularly Iraq and Syria.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran regards respect for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of neighboring countries as the best option for strengthening and developing relations among nations and countries,” Qassemi said.

Iran also considers “constructive dialogue with neighbors, instead of accusing others, as the most appropriate way” to deepen ties with them, he pointed out.

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