Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during a press conference on June 8, 2010 in Istanbul.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during a press conference on June 8, 2010 in Istanbul. Ahmadinejad cancelled a planned isit to Turkey, a day after his foreign minister warned Ankara over hosting Patriot missiles on its border with Syria. © Bulent Kilic - AFP/File
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during a press conference on June 8, 2010 in Istanbul.
AFP
Last updated: December 17, 2012

Iran's Ahmadinejad cancels Turkey visit

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cancelled a planned Monday visit to Turkey, his office said a day after his foreign minister warned Ankara over hosting Patriot missiles on its border with Syria.

Ahmadinejad had been officially invited to and was scheduled to attend the annual commemoration ceremony for Mevlana Jalal ad-Din Rumi, the 13th century Persian Muslim theologian.

He was also to have met Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian media reported.

But Ahmadinejad cancelled his visit because of a "busy schedule," Mehr news agency quoted the head of his international office, Mohammad Reza Forghani, as saying.

The cancellation came a day after Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi warned Turkey over plans to deploy NATO-controlled US-made Patriot missiles along its border with Syria amid tensions with President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Deploying the missiles in Turkey is a "provocative" action which could have "uncalculated" results, Salehi said on Sunday.

On Saturday, the joint chief of Iran's armed forces General Hassan Firouzabadi warned that the Patriot deployment was part of a plot to "create a world war."

Relations between Iran, Assad's main regional ally, and Turkey, a vocal opponent of the Damascus regime, have been strained over the conflict in Syria.

Some Iranian officials have accused Turkey of arming Syrian rebels.

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