Iran is working on a missile that could travel 6,000 miles, and reach the US, says Israel's vice prime minister. A mysterious explosion killed 17 on Nov. 12 at the military base in Iran where Israel says the missile is being developed.
The blast on Nov. 12 killed 17 Iranian troops, including an officer regarded as the architect of Iran's missile defenses. Iran said at the time the explosion at the facility, 45 km (28 miles) from Tehran, was an accident and occurred during research on weapons that could strike Israel.
Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon, addressing Israel's annual Herzliya security conference, challenged the Iranian account that the weapons project was focused on targeting Israel, and implied Iran was seeking to extend its strike range fourfold.
He said the base was a research and development facility where Iran "was preparing to produce or develop a missile with a range of 10,000 km (6,000 miles) ... aimed at the 'Great Satan', the United States of America, and not us".
Yaalon, who is also minister of strategic affairs, gave no other details nor relate his remarks to the cause of the explosion.
Analysts currently estimate the longest range of an Iranian missile to be about 2,400 km, capable of reaching Israel and Europe. Israeli leaders are keen to persuade any allies who do not share their assessment of the risk posed by Iran that a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic would also threaten the West.
Israel has made little comment on accusations by Tehran that its agents along with those of its Western allies are waging a covert war against Iran's nuclear programme.