Iran: Threat to Strike NATO Radar in Turkey Not Official Policy

Comment by Iran's Ali Akbar Salehi comes after top Revolutionary Guards officer said a strike of Iran's nuclear program would trigger an assault on a early-warning system on Turkish soil.

Iran does not official support a strike of Turkey's NATO early-warning radar in retaliation to a possible attack against its nuclear facilities, the Iranian foreign minister told his Turkish counterpart on Tuesday.

The comment by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi came after last month A senior commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard says the country will target NATO's missile defense shield in Turkey if the U.S. or Israel attacks the Islamic Republic.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Guards' aerospace division, was quoted by the semiofficial Mehr news agency as saying the warning is part of a new defense strategy to counter what it sees as an increase in threats from the U.S. and Israel.

However, Turkish sources speaking with the Turkish daily Today's Zaman on Wednesday, indicated that in a meeting between the two country's foreign ministers, Salehi told Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu that Hajizadeh's comments were his opinion and did not represent official Iranian policy.

Citing the official Anatolia news agency, the Today's Zaman report also said that, in response to Davutoğlu's demand for an explanation for the Iranian official's comment, the Iranian FM said that Turkey should only adhere to those statements made by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

Hajizadeh's comment last month came after another Iranian defense official threatened retaliation against Israel if any of its nuclear or security sites are attacked.

"If Israeli missiles hit one of our nuclear facilities or other vital centers, then they should know that any part of Israeli territory would be target of our missiles, including their nuclear sites," General Yadollah Javani of the Revolutionary Guards told ISNA news agency.

"They (Israel) know that we have the capability to do so."

Javani, the former head of the military's political department, was referring to mounting speculation that Israel would strike Iran's nuclear facilities after the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran had tested designs used to make nuclear warheads.