General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, Head of the Guards’ Aerospace Division, said the warning is part of a new defense strategy to counter what he described 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 Teheran was suspected of conducting secret experiments whose sole purpose was the development of nuclear arms.
The US and its Western allies suspect Iran of trying to produce atomic weapons, and Israel, which views Teheran as an existential threat, has warned of a possible strike on Iran’s nuclear program. Iran says its program is for peaceful purposes.
“Should we be threatened, we will target NATO’s missile defense shield in Turkey and then hit the next targets,” the semi-official Mehr news agency quoted Hajizadeh as saying.
Teheran 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, which has spurred Iran to alter its military defense strategy.
“Based on orders from the exalted Commander-in -Chief, we will respond to threats with threats,” he was quoted as saying.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, is also Commander-in-Chief of Iran’s Armed Forces.
Another Senior Guard Commander, Yadollah Javani, threatened that Teheran will target Israel’s nuclear facilities should the Jewish state attack Iran.
“If Israel fires a missile at our nuclear facilities or vital installations, it should know that Israel’s nuclear centers will be the target of our missiles,” the semi-official ISNA news agency quoted him as saying.
Source: Khaleej Times; Mehr; ISNA