London, Beirut- Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Bagheri revealed that his country’s missile manufactures had been transferred to the Syrian city of Aleppo in the past few years.
Bagheri also said Lebanon’s so-called Hezbollah had used Iranian-made missiles manufactured in Aleppo during its July 2006 war with Israel.
It is the first time a high-ranking Iranian officer uncovers the presence of Iranian-made weapons produced on a foreign soil, which is Syria.
However, Bagheri did not specify the timetable for producing the missiles, nor their type or range. He only spoke about a manufacturing zone near the industrial city of Aleppo, where fierce battles took place lately between opposition fighters and Syrian regime forces and their allies.
Tehran lost a large number of fighters during the battles.
Last June, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah admitted that his forces received missiles and money from Iran.
Bagheri said the missiles produced in Aleppo were used against the Tel Aviv regime during the 33-day war, referring to the Israeli war against Lebanon in the summer of 2006.
The Syrian opposition said on Thursday that the Iranian general’s claims bring nothing new.
“Iranian military production on Syrian soil started in 2002 as part of a deal inked between Bashar Assad and the Iranian leadership,” Free Syrian Army Commander Col. Ahmed Rahal said.
He added: “The Iranian information is very accurate and true.”
Rahal confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that “Iranian military production in Syria is part of a comprehensive military and economic plan between the countries.”
Also, Bagheri responded to the threats of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump who said his country would confront Iranian ships in the Persian Gulf. Bagheri described the threat as a “joke.”
He said Trump “ate too much sugar” during campaigns, referring to a Farsi proverb about talking nonsense.
The Iranian officer was speaking at a cultural ceremony on Thursday held in commemoration of Brigadier General Hassan Tehrani-Moqaddam, known as the father of Iran’s missile program, who was killed in 2011.
Bagheri said Iran’s progress in the missile industry was so rapid that none of the modern anti-missile systems could defeat the Iranian projectiles in terms of speed, power and precision.
However, the Iranian top commander assured Arab states that Tehran poses no threat to neighboring countries.