Ahmadinejad cancels visit to Turkey

AP News
Posted: Dec 17, 2012 5:04 AM

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — An Iranian semi-official news agency is reporting that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has canceled a visit to Turkey.

Mehr's Monday report said the cancellation was because of the president's busy agenda. But the decision comes during a dispute over the deployment of NATO Patriot missiles in Turkey.

Ahmadinejad was supposed to have a one-day visit Turkey on Monday to meet Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of a ceremony commemorating the 13th century poet Jalal al-din Rumi.

The Pentagon has announced it will send two batteries of the Patriot anti-missile system as part of a larger NATO force to protect Turkish territory from potential Syrian missile attacks. Iran warned Saturday against the deployment.

The report quotes Mohammad Reza Forghani, director of international affairs of the president's office.