Sunday, November 27, 2011

Iran to Target NATO Shield in Turkey if Threatened

TEHRAN - Iran will target NATO's missile shield in neighboring Turkey if it is threatened by military action, the commander of the aerospace division of the Revolutionary Guards said Nov. 26.
"We are prepared to first target the NATO defense missile shield in Turkey if we are threatened. And then we'll move on to other targets," Amir-Ali Hajizadeh was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.
Although Iranian officials have said several times they could retaliate with ballistic missiles against Israel if attacked, Hajizadeh's remark was the first time the Revolutionary Guards spoke of targeting Turkey.
Speculation has intensified in Israel that it was preparing air strikes on Iran to hit nuclear facilities following a Nov. 8 report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog strongly suggesting Tehran was researching atomic weapons.
Hajizadeh, whose unit is in charge of Revolutionary Guards' missile systems, told a crowd of Basij militia members in the western city of Khorramabad that Iran's stance now was to "threaten in the face of threats," in line with a decree this month by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Turkey last year agreed to host an early warning radar system in its southeast as part of NATO's shield which the United States says is aimed at thwarting missile threats from the Middle East, particularly Iran.
Hajizadeh said Nov. 21 that the Revolutionary Guards' "greatest wish" was for Israel to attack Iran, so they could retaliate and relegate the Jewish state to "the dustbin of history."

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