Israel is the farthest our missiles need to reach, Iran’s air force commander says

Statement follows report casting doubt on Tehran’s intercontinental missile capabilities

Iran’s air force commander said Tuesday that the distance between Iran and Israel is the maximum range that Tehran requires its missiles fly. Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh made the statement in response to a US intelligence report revealed last week that claimed Tehran is no longer on track to achieve an intercontinental missile by 2015.

“We don’t need missiles with more than a 2,000-kilometer range, even though have the technology to build them,” Hajizadeh told reporters. “Israel is our longest-range target.”

The US report, penned by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, cast doubt on a view long held by US intelligence agencies that Iran could test-fly an intercontinental ballistic missile by 2015 if it receives “sufficient foreign assistance.”

According to the report, Iran is not receiving as much help as would likely be necessary, notably from China or Russia, to reach that goal.

It is also increasingly tough for Tehran to obtain certain critical components and materials because of international sanctions related to its disputed nuclear program, the 66-page report stated.

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