Iran has said that U.S. bases in Afghanistan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and American aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf are within range of its missiles, according to a report, FOX NEWS reports.
Citing the Tasnim news agency, Reuters reports that the comments were made Wednesday by an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander. “They are within our reach and we can hit them if they (Americans) make a move,” said Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards’ airspace division.
How will President Trump respond to more Iranian threats?
Hajizadeh said the Guards had improved the precision of their missiles, and specifically said they could hit the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, Al Dhafra base in the United Arab Emirates and Kandahar base in Afghanistan that host U.S. forces. The Islamic Republic’s government has ruled out negotiations with Washington over its military capabilities, particularly its missile program.
According to Riad Kahwaji, founder and director of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, the threat of an Iranian attack should be taken seriously, considering the Islamic Republic’s growing arsenal of advanced long-range warheads.
“Iran has formidable arsenal of ballistic missile and is developing its cruise missile capabilities as well, These missiles don’t need to be fired from Iranian territory. Iran has delivered these missiles to proxies in Iraq and Syria so it can have these militias fire these missiles without it being held responsible.” Riad Kahwaji
Tehran has also supplied allied groups in Yemen and Syria with short and medium-range warheads. Both Israel and Iran’s Gulf Arab neighbours view Tehran’s moves in the region as a threat to their security.
By providing its proxies in Yemen, Syria and Iraq with ballistic missiles, Iran has surrounded Gulf states from all sides, Mr Kahwaji said in a report published on Thursday. This will require Gulf states to reconsider the deployment of their missile-defence systems and probably invest more money and manpower to counter the threat.
Tehran’s continuing development of its missile capabilities was one of the main reasons cited by US President Donald Trump for pulling out of a 2015 international agreement which lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme. He said the deal was flawed because it did not include controls on Iran’s missile program or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq. UN and US investigators have said missiles fired by the Yemen’s Houthi rebels bore signs of Iranian origins.
US sanctions targeting buyers of Iranian oil went into effect in early November, six months after Mr Trump pulled the US out of the nuclear pact. The sanctions also targeted Iran’s banking, aviation, shipping and shipbuilding sectors.