Israel has stepped up its claims that Iran is developing ballistic missiles capable of hitting the United States. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently repeated the assertion several times while visiting the US. However, Israel's assessment of the likely timing differs markedly from Washington's. And independent analysis indicates that Tehran is unlikely to have such a weapon before the end of the decade.
In February 2012, Israel's then-strategic affairs minister, Moshe Yaalon, said that Iran was developing a 10,000km-range missile capable of striking targets in the US. Yuval Steinitz, serving as finance minister at the time, claimed that Israeli intelligence believed that 'in two or three years [Iran] will have the first ICBMs [intercontinental ballistic missiles] that can reach the east coast of America.' Shortly after his address to the United Nations in New York on 1 October 2013, Netanyahu appeared on CBS News to announce that Iran is 'building ICBMs to reach … the American mainland within a few years'. A week later, in an interview with American talk-show host Charlie Rose, Netanyahu warned that the Islamic Republic was 'developing ICBMs – not for us, but for you'. He added that US intelligence 'knows as well as we do that Iran is developing ICBMs'.