Iran and North Korea are cooperating in the development of long-range missiles that could reach the U.S., according to a Pentagon official.
Army Brig. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, deputy director of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency, said in a speech on Monday that the Iranians are working on a space launcher that would help them develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the U.S., the Washington Times reported.
"Not only North Korea, but Iran has shown some significant developments in their missile systems,” Gen. O’Reilly said in the speech, delivered to the George C. Marshall Institute.
"They are working in concert with the North Koreans. They have made a claim that they are working toward developing a space launch capability, which also would give them an ICBM capability.”
Missile Defense Agency briefing materials said Iran "could have an ICBM capable of reaching the U.S. before 2015.”
North Korea has already tested a missile said to have a range of more than 6,000 miles, and Iranians were on hand during Pyongyang’s unsuccessful test launch of a missile last July.
Gen. O’Reilly said the U.S. missile defense system is designed to counter missiles from "rogue states” targeted at the U.S., according to the Times.