Tensions between Turkey and Iran appear to be on the rise as Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Ambassador Hüseyin Müftüoğlu slammed late Monday his Iranian counterpart’s remarks on Turkey. A diplomatic spat between the two neighbors broke out after Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi accused Turkey of “supporting terrorist groups” in Syria, in retalitation to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s criticism of Iran over nationalism and sectarianism. “It is incomprehensible and unacceptable that a country which does not hesitate from driving refugees to the battlefield accuses others of instability and tension in the region; It is expected from Iran that it takes constructive steps and reviews its regional policies instead of accusing countries that criticize its policies”, Müftüoğlu concluded. Iran has come under fire many times for its support to Shiite militants in Syria and Iraq. President Erdoğan has criticised the country many times over its sectarian policies in the region, saying “There is Persian nationalism in the Middle East. We are against the division of Syria and Iraq but there are people desiring a divided region. We have to counter these efforts. We cannot sit still and watch these developments in the Middle East”. Iran has also deployed troops in Syria in addition to providing support to Shiite militants. Tehran and Ankara support opposite sides in the conflict in Syria with mostly Shii’te Iran backing the regime of Bashar Assad while Turkey has backed elements of the Syrian opposition.