Turkey dismisses US warning over S-400 Russian missiles

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dismissed US threats to cancel the sale of high-tech F-35 jets to Turkey, saying his country will move ahead with the purchase of Russian S-400 air-defense missiles. (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)
Updated 07 March 2019
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Turkey dismisses US warning over S-400 Russian missiles

  • Erdogan has dismissed US threats to cancel the sale of high-tech F-35 jets to Turkey
  • Erdogan also said Turkey could consider purchasing the more advanced Russian S-500 system

ANKARA, Turkey: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed US threats to cancel the sale of high-tech F-35 jets to Turkey, saying his country will move ahead with the purchase of Russian S-400 air-defense missiles.
In an interview with Kanal 24 television late Wednesday, Erdogan also said Turkey could consider purchasing the more advanced Russian S-500 system in the future.
This week, the top US military commander for Europe, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, told the US Congress that NATO member Turkey should reconsider its plan to buy the S-400 from Russia or forfeit other future American military aircraft and systems. He said Turkey’s use of the Russian surface-to-air missile defense system would be a threat to the F-35.
It was the latest in a series of warnings the US has made to Turkey over its plans to buy the S-400. The US and other NATO allies have repeatedly complained about the purchase, saying it is not compatible with other allied systems and would represent a security threat.
The issue has aggravated already souring relations with Ankara, including tensions over the war in Syria.
“The S-400 is a done deal, there can be no turning back. We have reached an agreement with the Russians,” Erdogan said. “We will move toward a joint production. Perhaps after the S-400, we will go for the S-500.”
The US had agreed to sell 100 of its latest, fifth-generation F-35 fighters to Turkey, and has so far delivered two of the aircraft. But Congress last year ordered a delay in future deliveries.
In December, the State Department approved the sale of a $3.5 billion US Patriot missile defense system to Turkey.
Erdogan said Turkey could still purchase the Patriot system “if the conditions are suitable, the prices are suitable (and) if we can conduct a joint production.”
Erdogan added that first delivery of the S-400 would be made in July.


Foreign forces raise Gulf ‘insecurity’: Iran’s Rouhani

Updated 22 September 2019

Foreign forces raise Gulf ‘insecurity’: Iran’s Rouhani

  • ‘Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region’
  • Hassan Rouhani calls on the foreign powers in the Gulf region to ‘stay away’

TEHRAN: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that the presence of foreign forces creates “insecurity” in the Gulf, after the US ordered the deployment of more troops to the region.
“Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region,” Rouhani said in a televised speech at an annual military parade, adding that Iran would present to the UN a regional cooperation plan for peace.
Tensions escalated between arch-foes Iran and the United States after devastating September 14 attacks on Saudi oil installations that Washington and Riyadh have blamed on Tehran.
Following the attacks, the United States announced on Friday that it was sending reinforcements to Saudi Arabia at “the kingdom’s request.”
In his speech on Sunday, Rouhani called on the foreign powers in the Gulf region to “stay away.”
“If they’re sincere, then they should not make our region the site of an arms race,” he said.
“Your presence has always brought pain and misery for the region. The farther you keep yourselves from our region and our nations, the more security there will be for our region.”
Rouhani said Iran would present a plan for peace to the United Nations in the coming days.
“In this sensitive and important historical moment, we announce to our neighbors, that we extend the hand of friendship and brotherhood to them,” he said.