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Turkey-Iran Relations Deteriorate

Semih Idiz explains the breakdown in Turkey-Iran relations over Syria.
A Syrian youth from the northern Syrian town of Ras al-Ain reacts in front of the border fence near Turkish soldiers in a military vehicle at the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar, November 25, 2012. Iran said Turkey's plans to deploy Patriot defensive missiles near its border with Syria would add to the region's problems, as fears grow of the Syrian civil war spilling across frontiers. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh  (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT)

The Syrian crisis has made it more difficult for Turkey and Iran to continue giving the impression of normality in their ties, something they have tried hard to do in the past despite disagreements on specific issues. With Ankara firmly behind the Syrian opposition, and Tehran continuing its political and military support for the regime of President Bashar al Assad, serious cracks have started to emerge in relations between the two countries.

Meanwhile Turkey’s decision to call on NATO for Patriot missiles against the possibility of a missile attack from Syria has upped the ante considerably for Tehran, leading to less than diplomatic exchanges between the two capitals. The latest spate of verbal sparring came after Iranian Army Chief of Staff General Hassan Firouzabadi warned Turkey against the deployment of Patriot missiles, expected to take place in late January or early February.

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