Senior Iranian military general Hossein Salami said during a televised interview in early February that after years of research, Iran tested the capability of ballistic missiles to sink aircraft carriers almost a decade ago.
Salami, the Deputy Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said in the interview, which aired on state-run IRINN channel, that the testing “demonstrated that we were one step closer to destroying an aircraft carrier.”
During the interview, which was translated and released by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute Monday, Salami described the research and testing process when he served as the IRGC air force commander eight years ago.
Taking anti-missile defense systems into consideration, Salami said that the military’s researchers were forced to come up with alternatives to counter the technology. He said they eventually began testing the use of ballistic missiles to destroy moving targets at sea, and said that Iran was likely the only one to posses the “very complex technology.”
He said that during the IRGC’s most successful test, the missile landed approximately 10 meters away from the desired target, and earned his team praise by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
The US Navy’s Fifth Fleet currently has two aircraft deployed in the Persian Gulf, the USS George Washington and the USS Independence.
Earlier in February, Iranian state TV channel ran a documentary featuring a computerized video of Iranian drones bombing Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ben Gurion Airport and the Dimona nuclear reactor in a hypothetical retaliation for an Israeli or American strike on the Islamic Republic.
As recently as Saturday, a senior figure in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps warned that should Israel launch a preemptive attack on his country to stop the project, Tel Aviv, Israel’s financial and cultural hub, would be destroyed.
Netanyahu has long threatened to attack Iran in order to destroy, or at least hobble, its nuclear program, although such threats have largely tapered off since the West launched nuclear negotiations with Tehran.
Although Iran insists its nuclear program is meant for peaceful purposes only, it has defied economic sanctions to pursue the project, remained uncooperative with United Nations inspectors and threatened repeatedly to attack Israel, a major opponent of the current negotiations.