Israeli diplomat: 10,000 short-range rockets sent to target Israel.
By JERUSALEM POST STAFFIran has supplied Hezbullah with more than 10,000 short-range rockets and most of the weapons are deployed in southern Lebanon within reach of Israel, an Israeli diplomat said Thursday.
The rockets, some of which were provided by Syria, have a range of up to 110 kilometers, said Jeremy Issacharoff, the new deputy Israeli ambassador to Washington, at a conference on Iran sponsored The Israel Project, a nongovernment advocacy group.
"In Israeli terms, that range can be a heavyweight," Issacharoff said.
Iran is the leading supporter of terror groups in the world, he said.
Besides backing Hezbullah, a Lebanese group that has fought a cross-border conflict with Israel, Iran is supporting Palestinian terror groups, the Israeli diplomat said.
And he said Israel takes seriously a recent call by Iranian Prime Minister Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Israel be "wiped off the map."
At the State Department, spokesman Adam Ereli said Thursday the United States expects the world to speak with one voice at next week's meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in opposition to Iran's nuclear weapons program.
"We have reports, or the IAEA has confirmed, that Iran has resumed conversion of uranium into hexafluoride," Ereli said. "This is an unwelcome move, one that we view with concern.
"It is the latest in a series of moves by Iran that, frankly, go against what they, themselves, have committed themselves to and what the international community has asked of them."
Iran broke off negotiations in August with Britain, France and Germany, representing the European Union, and said they had the right to enrich uranium.
"I would say that none of this inspires confidence in Iran," Ereli said. "It contributes to the confidence gap and the trust deficit that we all have when looking at Iran's pattern of behavior over the last couple of years."
At the Iran conference, Rep. Brad Sherman of California recommended diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran and said he was proposing legislation to ban Iranian imports into the United States. He said his main aim was to stop Iran's nuclear program, and that an economic squeeze would undercut the government.
"The people of Iran need to be convinced that Iran's nuclear program is costing them development and jobs," Sherman said.
But Sherman said he doubted the UN Security Council would impose political and economic sanctions on Iran if it takes up Iran's nuclear program. China, for one, would veto any such resolution, partly to protect its oil interests in Iran, Sherman said.
He also questioned that President George W. Bush was aggressively applying sanctions against Iran.
"I don't know if this was a lie or if he was badly misinformed," Sherman said.
The United States has not had diplomatic relations with Iran since the Islamic revolution in 1979. Some $150 million worth of Iranian products, mostly carpets and some caviar, are imported by the United States annually, Sherman's office said.