In yet another warning against a NATO early-warning radar system planned to be deployed in Turkey to help spot missile threats coming from outside Europe, a senior Iranian commander urged Turkey to reconsider its decision and warned the neighboring country of the “adverse consequences” of its agreement to host the NATO radar, Iran’s state-run Press TV reported on Monday.
Turkey should rethink its long-term strategic interests and draw lessons from the “bitter historical experiences” of other countries, Iran’s Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff deputy head Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri was quoted as saying on Sunday. Ankara should rely more on the strength of its Muslim nation as well as the potency of Muslims elsewhere and assume a role geared towards improving security in the region, he reportedly added.
The Iranian commander also emphasized that Turkey should be held accountable for its “all-out support for the Israeli regime” following Ankara’s agreement to the installation of the US-backed missile shield on its soil. He also pointed to “serious concerns” among US officials about emerging threats to the very existence of the occupying Israeli regime and insisted that Washington seeks to utilize all possible means and opportunities, including its so-called missile shield deployment in Turkey, to salvage Israel.
Tehran sees Turkey’s decision to deploy a NATO missile early warning system as a US ploy to protect Israel from any counter-attack should the Jewish state target Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Turkey agreed to host the radar in September as part of NATO’s missile defense system aimed at countering ballistic missile threats from neighboring Iran. Ankara claims the shield doesn’t target a specific country and had threatened to block the deal if Iran was explicitly named as a threat.
In an interview with the semi-official Mehr news agency, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s military adviser Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim-Safavi also said Saturday that Turkey must radically rethink its policies on Syria, the NATO missile shield and promoting Muslim secularism in the Arab world — or face trouble from its own people and neighbors.
Last month, Iran’s defense minister delivered a similar warning to Turkey, which said Tehran would not tolerate any aggression against its national interests. “The West claims the radar system [in Turkey] is to confront Iranian missiles, but they should be aware that we will not tolerate any aggression against our national interests,” Iran’s Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi was quoted by state TV as saying. “We regard the presence of America and the West as a troublesome and harmful presence for the Islamic countries,” Vahidi said.
10 October 2011, Monday / TODAYSZAMAN.COM,