Ya'alon: Iran was working on US-range missile

Vice Prime Minister says December explosion at Iran base occurred where long-range missile was being developed.

By
February 2, 2012 13:35
1 minute read.
Cruise missiles [illustrative]

Nasr-1 cruise missile weapons 311 . (photo credit: REUTERS/Fars News)

 
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Iran was working on developing a missile with 10,000 km range that would put America in reach of a potential Iranian attack, Strategic Affairs Minister and Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Thursday.

According to Ya'alon, the missile was based on a solid fuel propellant and would have been able to significantly increase Iran's offensive capabilities. In November , a mysterious explosion rocked an Iranian missile base near Tehran where Iran was working on developing this long range missile.

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Ya'alon also said that Turkey is helping Iran bypass the sanctions that have been imposed on it in recent months.

According to the vice prime minister, who was in the United States last week for talks on Iran with senior officials from the Obama administration, Turkey was helping Iran circumvent the sanctions by allowing it to use its banking system.

Ya'alon said that the Israeli government was committed to stopping Iran's nuclear program "in one way or another."

"We need a credible military option. The Iranians understand the West has capabilities, but as long as the Iranians don't think that the West has the political stomach and determination to use it they will not stop," Ya'alon affirmed. "Currently they don't think that the world is determined."

Ya'alon also stated that all Iranian facilities can be reached in a military strike. "Anything built by humans can be destroyed by humans... I say this from experience as a former IDF chief of staff," he said.

Ya'alon also said that Iran and Hezbollah were working with drug cartels in Mexico to learn how to smuggle materials into the US, a conduit that could one day be used to smuggle weapons into the country.

Ya'alon said that the "crippling sanctions" that are being imposed on Iran such as the ban on oil exports could succeed in posing a "clear dilemma" for the regime, whether it wants to continue its nuclear program and risk the survival of the Islamic regime or stop and open in dialogue with the West.

Ya'alon said that the West still does not fully understand the severity of the nuclear threat posed by Iran. "America is the larger Satan," he said.

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