Iran will bomb Turkey if the U.S. or Israel tries to destroy its nuclear installations, a senior military commander warned today.
General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the aerospace division of the powerful Revolutionary Guard, threatened to target Nato's missile defence shield in the neighbouring country.
The system which Turkey only agreed to install in September, is designed to prevent Iranian missile attacks on Israel.
Warning: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, seen meeting veterans in Tehran today, said plans to attack Turkey was part of Iran's strategy of respinding ¿to threats with threats¿
Preparing: Khamenei, flanked by military and Revolutionary Guards commanders, reviews female members of the Basij militia in Tehran today
Provoking: Masked members of Iran's paramilitary Basij militia parade in front the former U.S embassy
The warning is part of is part of a new strategy devised by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that consists of responding ‘to threats with threats’.
General Hajizadeh said: ‘Should we be threatened, we will target NATO's missile defense shield in Turkey and then hit the next targets.’
Tensions have been rising between Iran and the West since the release of a report earlier this month by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
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It said for the first time that Tehran was suspected of conducting secretexperiments whose sole purpose was the development of nuclear arms.
The U.S. and its Western allies suspect Iran of trying to produce atomic weapons, and Israel, which views Tehran as an existential threat, has warned of a possible strike on Iran's nuclear programme.
Iran says its programme is for peaceful purposes.
A military installation in the Turkish town of Kurecik, some 435 miles west of the Iranian border, has been designated as the radar site, according to Turkish government officials.
General Hajizadeh said the United States also plans to install similar stations in Arab states, which has spurred Iran to alter its military defence strategy.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all statematters, is also commander in chief of Iran's armed forces.
Another senior Guard commander, Yadollah Javani, threatened that Tehran 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 centres will be the target of our missiles,’ the semiofficial ISNA news agency quoted him as saying.
Also Saturday, the chief of Iran's elite Quds Force said he doesn't fear assassination and is ready for ‘martyrdom.’
The comments by Quds Force commander Brigadeer General Ghassem Soleimani were published in several Iranian newspapers.
The Quds Force is the special foreign operations unit of the country's powerful Revolutionary Guard, and Soleimani is a key figure in Iran's military establishment but rarely speaks in public.
Fervour: Young militia members flash victory signs in front of an anti-U.S. mural painted on a wall in Tehran
Ready for war: Soldiers on Tehran's streets has become an increasingly common sight in recent weeks
Menacing: Balaclava-wearing members of the Basij militia were out in force during an anti-U.S. protest on Friday
Debate: Iran's parliament today as it approved a bill to reduce Tehran's diplomatic relations with London and withdraw the country's ambassador to Britain
Tensions have increased in recent weeks between Iran and the U.S., with several American neoconservatives urging the Obama administration to use covert action against Iran and kill some of its top officials, including Soleimani.
The force has been accused by the Americans of involvement in an alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington. Two men, including an alleged member of Iran's Quds Force, have been charged in New York federal court in the case.
Iran has dismissed the American claims as a ‘foolish plot’, saying U.S. officials have offered no proof.
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