A senior commander of Iran's
powerful Revolutionary Guard says the country will target NATO's missile defense shield in Turkey
if the US or Israel
attacks the Islamic Republic.
Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Guards' aerospace division, is quoted by the semiofficial Mehr news agency as saying the warning is part of a new defense strategy to counter what it sees as an increase in threats from the US and Israel.
Tensions have been rising between Iran and the West since the release of a report
earlier this month by the International Atomic Energy Agency that said for the first time that Tehran was suspected of conducting secret experiments whose sole purpose was the development of nuclear arms.
"Should we be threatened, we will target NATO's missile defense shield in Turkey and then hit the next targets," the semiofficial Mehr news agency quoted Hajizadeh as saying.
Tehran says NATO's early warning radar station in Turkey is meant to protect Israel against Iranian missile attacks if a war breaks out with the Jewish state. Ankara agreed to host the radar in September as part of NATO's missile defense system aimed at countering ballistic missile threats from neighboring Iran.
A military installation in the Turkish town of Kurecik, some 435 miles (700 kilometers) west of the Iranian border, has been designated as the radar site, according to Turkish government officials.
Hajizadeh said the United States also plans to install similar stations in Arab states south of Iran. He said increasing threats has made Iran alter it military defense strategy.
"Based on orders from the exalted commander in chief, we will respond to threats with threats," he was quoted as saying.
Also Saturday, Revolutionary Guards Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari announced that the latest technological achievement of Major General Hassan Moqaddam, who was killed in an explosion
at a missile base three weeks ago, is ready for a final testing.
Moqaddam saying he was an astute and clever scientist who rendered huge service to Iran's missile program, and said his achievements in the field of chemistry are unrivaled in the country as even the most renowned Iranian chemists are not able to repeat his achievements.