In an exclusive interview with IRNA, Seyyed Abbas Araqchi added that Iran has excellent ties with Turkey and disputes in several cases will never overshadow cooperation between them.
Commenting on Ankara’s policies regarding Syria, he said that Iran’s policies are different form those of Turkey. Political reforms in Syria should be fulfilled gradually on a natural course.
He also underlined that Iran and Turkey can solve Syria’s crisis through cooperation.
The two countries will have a policy of mutual respect in cases of dispute, he said.
He recalled the growth of Iran-Turkey trade in recent years and said that economic exchanges between them hit eight billion dollars in 2010 but it doubled in 2011, reaching 16 billion dollars.
It was also agreed during Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Tehran in April the figure would reach 35 billion dollars by 2015, Araqchi said.
He further stated that the two countries have common stances vis-à-vis many issues such as fighting terrorism. They also have close cooperation in international organizations.
Tehran and Ankara have always opined that peace and stability in each country will benefit the other, he noted.
As to the developments currently unfolding in Syria, he said that President Bashar Assad is the pillar of the country’s political structure which should be protected.
But the Zionists are seeking to collapse the pillar, he said, noting that Syria is the forefront of resistance against the Zionist regime.
The Syrians should determine the fate of the country during elections and it is them who should decide whether to maintain Bashar Assad in office or not, Araqchi said.
He also recalled Syria’s neighborhood with Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and the Zionist regime and said that Syria is different from Libya and any flame in the country will spread to the entire region.
Asked about Turkey’s permission to NATO to establish missile systems in its territory, he said that each country decides based ts interests but it should not pose threats to other countries.
Ankara has on several occasions announced that the system will not pose any threat to Iran but the NATO Secretary General has declared that the aim of the system is Iran.
Such contradictory comments have raised concerns in Iran, Araqchi said, noting that generally speaking, bilateral ties are excellent and friendly.