Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Monday that he still plans to visit Iran despite his recent statement accusing the Islamic Republic government of seeking domination in the region following recent events in Yemen.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Following Erdogan’s critical statements last week, a number of Iranian MPs called for the cancellation of his Iran visit.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said: “Iran places great value and respect in its strategic relations in various areas with Turkey. Under current circumstances, all countries should concentrate their efforts in establishing stability and security in the region.”

Iranian MP Ahmad Tavakoli told Tasnim last week that the Iranian foreign ministry must take a more serious stand against Turkey’s baseless accusations.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokeswoman denounced the Turkish president’s statements, adding that the ministry has summoned the Turkish consul in Iran to give adequate explanations in this regard.

Turkey has declared its support for the Saudi military offensive against Houthis in Yemen, while Iran has condemned Saudi aggression and expressed support for the Yemeni Shias who have taken control of large sections of the country and caused the Yemeni president to flee to Saudi Arabia.

Erdogan told reporters: “We are keeping the program of our visit [to Iran] but we are watching developments in Yemen”, adding that Yemen is of vital concern to Turkey.