hlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Iran has more than 3,000 ballistic missiles, US CENTCOM chief General Kenneth McKenzie said Tuesday, acknowledging that many of those missiles could reach “Israel”.
“At a military level my concern is first of all that they do not have a nuclear weapon but I am also very concerned about the remarkable growth and efficiency of their ballistic missile program,” McKenzie told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The US General’s words came a week after he met with Israeli occupation Security Minister Benny Gantz and IOF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi.
“They have over 3,000 missiles of various types, some of which can reach Tel Aviv,” McKenzie said in response to a query by the senate committee. “None of them can reach Europe yet,” he claimed, however.
He also claimed that the Iranian missile capabilities are the “greatest threat to the region’s security,” adding that Iran had developed an arsenal of “nuclear-warhead capable ballistic missiles.”
According to the top US defense official, the Islamic Republic has tested these weapon platforms multiple times, telling the congressional committee that Tehran had heavily invested in its ballistic missile program for the better half of the past decade.
The US Central Command assessed that Iran would “continue using” Iraq and Syria as supply routes to forward Tehran’s “campaign” against the Israeli occupation, adding that the supplies were in part to Hezbollah in Lebanon, whose missile capabilities were estimated to amount to 130,000-150,000 rockets that can reach deep into occupied Palestine. The tally reportedly includes many ballistic missiles.
McKenzie also voiced concern over the Iranian drone program.
According to his statements, Iran’s UAV fleet evolved from “commercial off-the-shelf” drones to ones that “resemble cruise missiles” in terms of speed, range, accuracy, invulnerability to electronic warfare, and warhead weight.
Tehran has also been able to mass-produce the drone components, allowing them to be supplied to their allies in Lebanon and Yemen, he added.
The Israeli occupation, as a geographical division, was transferred to the US Central Command two years ago, McKenzie said, which allowed CENTCOM to “more closely align our regional partners against common threats,” citing Tehran as a main threat.
He also said the US remained steadfast in its commitment to the Israeli occupation’s security and its so-called “right to defend itself.”
“CENTCOM will continue to support the expansion of Israel’s military ties with regional counterparts through training, joint exercises, and other defense cooperation efforts,” McKenzie further added.