The head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace wing and missile program said Iran is in possession of hugely destructive missiles comparable to the Unites States’ so called “Mother Of All Bombs,” the world’s largest non-nuclear bomb.
“Following a proposal by the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Iran’s Defense Industries Organization manufactured a 10-ton bomb,” General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said in an interview with the state-linked FARS news agency on Friday. “These bombs are at our disposal and can be launched from Ilyushin aircraft and they are highly destructive.”
Hajizadeh referred to the missile as the “father of all bombs,” comparing it to the US produced GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, or MOAB, which contains 11 tons of explosives and has been nicknamed the Mother of All Bombs.
In April, the US military used the bomb in Afghanistan, killing 36 militants as it destroyed a deep tunnel complex of the Islamic State group.
Hajizadeh told FARS that the Iranian equivalent would allow his country to challenge the US-led coalition fighting in Iraq and Syria.
“The Americans, among others, have come to Iraq and Syria to disintegrate them, but what eventually happened was Iran’s will,” he said, in an apparent reference to gains made by the Iranian-backed Syrian government and various Shiite militia groups active in the two countries. “I see no army in the world to be on a par with the IRGC.”
Hajizadeh’s comments come at a sensitive time for Iran, with US President Donald Trump signaling he is considering backing out of the 2015 nuclear deal between six world powers and Tehran.
In the last several months, Trump has indicated he could opt not to certify that Iran is complying with the deal when he is next slated to report to Congress in October, despite International Atomic Energy Agency investigators and America’s own intelligence community saying it is abiding by the letter of the pact.
On Thursday, Trump waived wide-ranging economic sanctions against Iran’s oil, trade and financial sectors.
But the US Treasury Department also imposed fresh sanctions on 11 Iranian entities for their alleged support of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Tehran’s ballistic missile program and other programs to conduct cyberattacks and support terrorism.
On Friday US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said that Iran will be the major focus of this week’s summit between Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“While their conversations will be wide-ranging, we expect that Iran’s destabilizing behavior, including its violation of the sovereignty of nations across the Middle East, to be a major focus,” McMaster said.
Netanyahu is reportedly set to present Trump with a specific formula for either scrapping the historic deal signed by the Barack Obama administration or amending it.