Iran renews threat to attack Turkey

Mon 12 Dec 2011 03:01 GMT | 07:01 Local Time

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Iran is again threatening to hit NATO's missile defence system in Turkey if the US or Israel attacks the country.

An Iranian security official said if there were any attack on Iran they would "definitely" target the missile system which is planned to be stationed in the eastern province of Malatya as part of NATO’s missile defence project. The official said that Tehran had a plan to counteract the shield.

“We are closely monitoring relations with Turkey in the National Security Commission of the parliament. Iran has warned Turkey before that the deployment of the system will have grave consequences. Gen Hajizadeh’s remarks are entirely true and when we were attacked, it is our natural right to defend ourselves,” the vice-chairman of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission, Hossein Ibrahimi, said.

“Our armed forces have pre-studied plans and tactics against the NATO system,” Ibrahimi told the Farsi-language Shargh newspaper. “This system actually aims to protect the Zionist regime, under the name of NATO. This is a problem for Turkey who authorized the deployment of the system. Turkey shouldn’t do this,” Ibrahimi said, commenting on whether a possible strike would also pose a threat to Turkey because the system was stationed there, Dogan news agency reported.

Ankara previously conveyed unease to Tehran over remarks by Gen Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the aerospace unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), that Iran would target NATO missile defence installations in Turkey’s Malatya province if the US or Israel attacked. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu conveyed to his Iranian counterpart Turkey’s disturbance over recent Iranian threats to attack installations in Turkey when the two met in Jeddah on 30 November. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said the air force commander’s remarks did not reflect Tehran’s official position.

Iranian officials have long criticized Ankara for deploying a US-led NATO early warning radar system in its territories, but it was the first time a high ranking military official from Iran warned of a military act against Turkey.

Hurriyet Daily News



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