Thursday, December 1, 2011

Turkey Conveys Concerns Over Missile Shield Threat

ANKARA - Turkey's foreign minister has conveyed Ankara's concerns about an Iranian commander's recent remarks that Tehran will hit NATO's missile shield in Turkey if threatened, a ministry official said Dec. 1.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu "verbally conveyed our concerns to his Iranian counterpart," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Davutoglu met Nov. 30 with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on the sidelines of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation meeting in Jeddah.
The commander of the aerospace division of Iran's Revolutionary Guards recently said Tehran will target NATO's missile shield in neighboring Turkey if it is threatened by military action.
"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.
Turkey has 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.
Turkish officials insist that the shield targets no specific country.

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