(Reuters) Iran’s army chief of staff warned NATO on Saturday that stationing Patriot anti-missile batteries on Turkey’s border with Syria was setting the stage for world war.

General Hassan Firouzabadi, whose country has been a staunch supporter of President Bashar Assad throughout the 21-month uprising against his rule, called on the Western military alliance to reverse its decision to deploy the defense system.

“Each one of these Patriots is a black mark on the world map, and is meant to cause a world war,” Firouzabadi said, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency. “They are making plans for a world war and this is very dangerous for the future of humanity and for the future of Europe itself.”

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