Two top Iranian commanders have said that one of the reasons Iran's ballistic missiles have a range of only 2,000 kilometers is a limit prescribed by the Supreme Leader, ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
It is not clear from their statements at what time in the past Khamenei might have imposed a limit.
This is the first time that high-ranking Islamic Republic officials directly mention a range limitation imposed by Khamenei.
Fars news agency reports that in remarks delivered in a provincial city of Urmiya, the Chief of Staff of Iran’s armed forces revealed that the Supreme Leader, ayatollah Ali Khamanei has limited the range of Iran’s ballistic missiles to 2,000 kilometers.
The particular statement by General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri was just a short reference in more detailed remarks praising Iran’s missile program.But Bagheri was trying to make a point that Iran’s missiles are not meant to carry nuclear warheads.
“Our missiles have a 2,000-kilometer range, based on a limit prescribed by the commander in chief (Khamenei)”.
The high ranking IRGC general said that ballistic missiles are usually produced to carry nuclear weapons, and “do need a lot of accuracy…but the Islamic Republic considers the development and deployment of nuclear warheads against Sharia (Islamic Law)”. That is the reason Iranian scientists working on ballistic missiles focus on their accuracy, he added.
Bagheri’s remarks appear to be an attempt to show that Iran’s missile program is a defensive one, in contrast to countries such as North Korea.
Associated Press reports that the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, General Mohammad Ali Jaafari also told reporters that Khamenei has prescribed a 2,000 kilometer range for Iran's ballistic missiles.
Speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Tehran, Jafari told reporters that the range of missiles is "enough for now". But he added a hawkish remark, that if there is conflict in the region, "there are enough Americans" to target.