A top Iranian general claimed US military personnel and assets in the Middle East are within range of his country’s missiles Wednesday, amid ongoing tensions between Tehran and Washington.
Amirali Hajizadeh, the head of the air division for the hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, said improvements to Iran’s missile arsenal had put US bases in Qatar, the UAE and Afghanistan within reach, as well as US aircraft carriers stationed in the Persian Gulf, according to Iran’s Tasnim news agency.
“They are within our reach and we can hit them if the [Americans] make a move,” he said, according to a translation of his remarks carried by Reuters.
Hajizadeh said the missiles had been outfitted with improved precision capabilities, making it possible to hit targets over 500 kilometers away to within 30 meters accuracy.
The threat came a day after US President Donald Trump used tensions with Iran to justify his decision to not punish Saudi Arabia over the death of writer Jamal Khashoggi.
“Iran states openly, and with great force, ‘Death to America!’ and ‘Death to Israel!’ Iran is considered ‘the world’s leading sponsor of terror,'” he wrote in a statement that drew ire from allies and Tehran alike. ” The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region. It is our paramount goal to fully eliminate the threat of terrorism throughout the world!”
Trump earlier this year pulled the US out of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, putting sanctions back in place. The US administration had cited a lack of curbs on Iranian missile development as one of the flaws of the agreement.
After punishing sanctions went back into effect on November 5, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani described said the country had entered a “war situation.”
Israel has repeatedly warned of the dangers of Iranian precision missile technology, particularly what is says are attempts by Tehran to supply rockets with pinpoint accuracy to the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon.
In October, Iran fired ground to ground missiles at what it said were Islamic State terrorists in Eastern Syria in retaliation for an attack on a military parade weeks earlier. It said the missile traveled some 570 kilometers (350 miles).