Last week, a senior Iranian general issued a new threat against the West, but this time at a fellow Muslim nation – Turkey.
General Amir Hajizadeh, who is the head of the notorious Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace division, said that in the event of an American or Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities, it would attack Turkey and destroy the NATO radar station present in the country. According to him, "Should we be threatened, we will target NATO's missile defense shield in Turkey". The radar station in question is located in the town of Kurecik and lies about 430 miles from the Turkish-Iranian border and is assumed by the Iranian government to be protecting Israel although Turkey agreed to the station for its own security against Iran. The US is planning to install radar stations in neighboring Arab states in the Persian Gulf which has made the country uneasy and bellicose.
According to Iranian officials, the threat is a response to increased rhetoric from Israel regarding an airstrike against Iranian nuclear facilities and is meant to be a deterrent. However, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi threatened Israel yesterday, saying Iran is not Iraq and would shoot 150,000 rockets at Tel Aviv “to punish Israel for what it has done to the Muslims in Palestine and Lebanon”.
At the time of this latest threat, head of the Revolutionary Guard Major General Muhammad Jafari announced that a new technological breakthrough had been achieved at the missile base headed by General Hassan Muqaddam – who was killed three weeks ago in a an explosion - and would be undergoing testing over the next few weeks before being deployed. Speculation is that the breakthrough is either nuclear or biochemical and is likely a weapon.
The increase in threatening rhetoric from Iran comes in the wake of an IAEA report that showed Iran is still pursuing nuclear weapons and is likely close to having a functional warhead. Israel has been calling for military action since the sanctions placed on Iran over the last several years have been ineffective, largely due to European countries such as Russia conducting illegal business with Iran and aiding in the construction of nuclear facilities and other technologies.