Hoenlein: Iranian Ballistic Missiles Aimed at U.S., Not Israel

The U.S. should respond forcefully to Iran’s recent ballistic missile tests because they are meant to target the United States and its allies, Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, said on Sunday.

“These are missiles that are capable of carrying nuclear warheads. And the target is not Israel,” Hoenlein told radio host John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York. “The target is the United States because they don’t need a ballistic missile to hit Israel.”

Last week, Iranian state television showed footage of two Qadr missiles being launched from northern Iran, which the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said hit targets 1,400 km (870 miles) away. Iranian agencies said the missiles were stamped with the Hebrew words, “Israel should be wiped from the pages of history.”

But Hoenlein pointed to Iran’s humiliation of the ten U.S. sailors, their continued aggression and goal of controlling Arab capitals in the region, as proof that their goal is “to destroy America” and are “seeking the means to do it.”

“We better believe it, listen to what they say, and take it seriously,” he added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday called for world powers to take “immediate punitive steps” against Iran.

“(The powers) must take immediate punitive steps following the repeated gross transgressions by Iran in the matter of the rockets,” a statement by the prime minister’s office said, adding that it would be “a test for the powers’ ability to enforce the nuclear agreement.”

Reuters contributed to this report

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