Iran is using proxy facilities in Syria to develop advanced missile systems and distribute them to its regional allies, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Monday.
Gantz made the statement during an address at the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York City. Gantz says the weapons are being manufactured inside Syria’s Centre D’Etudes et de Recherches Scientifiques (CERS), displaying a map of the various locations.
“Under the vision of Qasem Soleimani, Iran transforms this into production facilities for low-range missiles and weapons,” Gantz said. “In other words, we can get another Iranian front, a factory for advanced strategic weapons.”
“The underground facility at Masyaf, where an advanced missile facility is located, holds significant danger for Israel and the region,” he added.
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Gantz went on to discuss Iran’s nuclear threat, saying the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly found Iran to be developing out-of-bounds uranium.
“It could happen in the next few days, it could happen in a long time, it could never happen. What is important is that Iran must be kept from nuclear capabilities,” he said.
“Not only Iran has accumulated capabilities and infrastructure, but knowledge that cannot be reversed. According to our assessment, should Iran want to do so, it can reach nuclear weapons in a matter of weeks,” Gantz added.
Iran has abandoned many of the commitments it made in the 2015 nuclear deal after the U.S. withdrew from it under former President Donald Trump. President Joe Biden’s administration has made little progress toward another deal.