By Kevin Flower
Iran is developing a missile capable of delivering payloads up to 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) away, Israel's vice prime minister charged Thursday.
Speaking to Israel's annual Herzliya national security conference, Moshe Ya'alon, who also serves as Israel's minister for strategic affairs, suggested that an Iranian military compound that mysteriously blew up late last year was developing a long-range missile capable of hitting the United States.
Ya'alon said the project was "aimed at America, not us" and said it served as further argument that Iran posed a "military problem" that needed to be stopped.
"Such a non-conventional regime should not have such non-conventional capabilities," he added.
Iranian officials said the explosion was the result of a munitions depot accidentally catching fire at the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) military base in Bidgeneh village, located on the outskirts of Shahriar city and about 35 kilometers (21 miles) west of Tehran.
At least 17 people, including a general, died as a result of a blast on the base, Iranian state media reported at the time.
Senior defense officials told CNN that the United States believed the Iranians were mixing volatile fuel for a rocket motor for a large ballistic missile on November 12 when the explosion occurred.