"The base is designed to enhance the combat readiness of our Armed Forces in standing up to possible aggression against our country," Gen. Ahmad Migani, Air Force commander, said at the base's opening ceremony.
The new base, named Gayem al-Mohammad, is located near the city of Birjand, the administrative center of the southern province of South Khorasan. Gen. Migani said Iranian fighters and a modern radar system will be deployed at the base.
"Our enemies must know that if they attempt to attack our country, we will teach them a lesson they will never forget," he said.
Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said in mid-September: "We do not consider an attack on Iran to have any sense, but if it takes place, the aggressors will receive a painful lesson, and their actions will cause harm to the entire region," he said.
Larijani, in reference to U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, went on to say: "Experience has shown us that they (the U.S.) can start things, but not finish them."
The official also warned the U.S. against building a new military base in Iraq, close to Iran's borders.
"The Americans will suffer from coming closer to Iranian borders, but the Iraqi government's approach is important here, and they openly told us they would not have them (the U.S.) build a military base in Iraq," Larijani said.
U.S. military authorities in Iraq said earlier they had plans to build a military base close to the border with Iran, in the Wasit province of southern Iraq. U.S. military representatives say the base would prevent both weapons and fighters from crossing into Iraq from Iran.
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