Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cautioned Iran on Tuesday that it is within range of Israeli air strikes, citing repeated Iranian threats to destroy Israel.
“Iran recently has been threatening Israel’s destruction,” PM Netanyahu said at the Nevatim Air Force base, where he viewed a squadron of advanced U.S.-built F-35 warplanes.
“It should remember that these planes can reach anywhere in the Middle East, including Iran, and certainly Syria,” he said in a video clip filmed at the base, with an F-35 in the background.
“I am on an impressive tour of the air force base. I see all of our weapons systems and planes. Here behind me is the ‘Adir’, the F-35,” the prime minister said.
Last week, a senior Iranian parliamentarian was quoted by the semi-official Mehr news agency as saying that if the United States attacked Iran, Israel would be destroyed in half an hour.
At the base, Netanyahu held a security discussion with IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, GOC Air Force Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin and the forum of air force commanders.
Norkin last year said that Israel had used the fifth-generation fighter jet in operations in the Middle East. At the time, Norkin did not specify in which countries the aircraft had been used.
The F-35 stealth jet is believed to not have an effective range to reach Iran unassisted, but it could conduct operations there with in-air refueling, a capability possessed by Israel’s air force, the Times of Israel noted.