Iranian defense minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi has claimed that Iran has up to 150,000 missiles pointed at its Middle Eastern foe Israel.
The missile claim has emerged from a report by the semi-official Iranian Fars News Agency.
“The U.S. and its allies should know that Iran is so powerful that its battling will teach the U.S. how to fight and what war and warrior mean,” the defense minister was quoted as saying to a crowd of 50,000 Iranian volunteer soldiers according to Fars News Agency.
Vahidi argued that Iran is not “Iraq or Afghanistan” and said that Israel must be punished for “what it has done to Muslims in Palestine and Lebanon.”
While addressing the soldiers Vahidi asked how many missiles Israel has prepared - questioning threats towards the Islamic Republic emanating from the Jewish State.
“How many missiles have they prepared themselves for? 10,000? 20,000? 50,000? 100,000? 150,000 or more,” he asked.
The comments from Vahidi come at the same time that a rare threat towards Turkey was made by General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the aerospace division of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
“Should we be threatened, we will target NATO’s missile defense shield in Turkey and then hit the next targets,” Hajizadeh warned.
The warnings from the defense minister and the head of Iran’s aerospace division appear to be part of a new Iranian strategy to counter “threats with threats,” but some analysts argue that Iran does not even have 150,000 missiles and the country is bolstering about its military capacity out of fear over the potentiality of an Israeli strike.
The comments come only weeks after an International Atomic Energy Report incriminated Iran for developing nuclear capacity for non-peaceful purposes.
Following the report, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada upgraded sanctions on the country’s energy and financial sectors.
Iran maintains its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and not to build a bomb, however, the country has warned that it would respond to any attacks on its nuclear system with “strong blows” and “steel fists.”