Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Iran Knocks Turkey for Accepting Missile Defense Radar
Iran on Tuesday renewed its criticism of Turkey for accepting a deal to house a U.S. missile defense radar, claiming the early warning system was intended to safeguard Israel and not Europe as stated, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, Sept. 20).
The United States says it intends by 2020 to have established a missile shield that can provide Europe from potential missile attacks from the Middle East through the phased deployment of increasingly advanced sea-and land-based missile interceptors and supporting technology. The U.S. effort would be a primary component of NATO plans to connect and enhance member states' antimissile capabilities.
The U.S.-supplied radar system is to be deployed in Kurecik, some 435 miles to the west of Iranian territory. Last month, U.S. Defense Department spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said Washington would like to see the radar installed before 2012.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in televised remarks asserted the NATO missile shield was actually aimed at safeguarding Israel from Iranian ballistic missile strikes should an armed conflict arise.
"The missile defense shield is aimed at defending the Zionist regime. They don't want to let our missiles land in the occupied territories (Israel) if one day they take action against us. That's why they put it there," Ahmadinejad claimed.
The Turkish government says the NATO antimissile system is not directed against any one nation and previously warned it would not accept the radar if Iran was specifically highlighted as a missile danger.
The Iranian president said Tehran has aired its grievances with Ankara. "We told our Turkish friends that it was not a correct job they did and that it's to their detriment. Such shields can't prevent the collapse of the Zionist regime."
Ankara has enjoyed warm relations with Tehran in the past and has objected to sanctions targeting Iran over its controversial nuclear operations. The two Muslim nations, though, have drifted apart somewhat in recent months over their opposing positions on Syria's continued use of lethal use against civilian antigovernment protesters (Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press/Time, Oct. 4).
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday labeled Israel as a danger to the Middle East on account of its widely assumed nuclear arsenal, Agence France-Presse reported.
"I right now see Israel as a threat for its region, because it has the atomic bomb," Erdogan was reported by state media to have said.
Jerusalem abides by a longstanding policy of neither confirming nor denying it possesses nuclear weapons and has resisted repeated pressure from Arab nations to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (see GSN, Sept. 22).
Erdogan previously charged Western governments with having "double standards" for attempting to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear deterrent while seemingly looking the other way on Israel's arsenal (Agence France-Presse/Dawn, Oct. 5).
This article provides an overview of Iran’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.