TEHRAN (Reuter)–Iran on Wednesday condemned naval exercises Turkey plans to hold with Israel and the United States in the Mediterranean in November–saying they were "a threat to Arab states as well as the whole region."
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mahmoud Mohammadi… "condemned the scheduled joint maneuver between Turkey and the Zionist regime (Israel) and called it a threat to Arab states as well as the whole region," the Iranian news agency IRNA said.
Mohammadi said–"…the Zionist regime through this joint maneuver intends to weaken the Arab side in…the region,” the agency reported.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran has time and again voiced its utmost concern over the increasing influence of the Zionist regime (Israel) in the region and cannot be indifferent toward these developmen’s," Mohammadi said.
The Arab League on Wednesday expressed concern over the exercises which were also criticized by Egypt and Syria.
Turkish President Suleyman Demirel said on Wednesday the exercises were search and rescue drills and purely humanitarian. He invited Syria and Egypt to attend the maneuvers.