Iran's Weapon Cache: 'Awake from Your Slumber'
EILAT, Israel -- A weapons cache seized last week from Iran is serving as another warning to the West of the Islamic country's dangerous intentions.
On Monday, Israel displayed the weapons cache Israeli naval commandos seized last week in the Red Sea.
Israeli and U.S. intelligence tracked the weapons from Iran on their way from Iran to the Gaza Strip. The weapons included 40 long-range missiles, nearly 200 mortars, and 400,000 rounds of ammunition. The missiles were hidden inside shipping containers and surrounded with cement made in Iran.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the opportunity to again warn the West, saying "those engaged in self-deception must awaken from their slumber."
The missiles represented a major threat to Israel's home front. It would have put 5 million Israelis -- more than 60 percent of the population -- within range.
But Israel is not it's only target.
"The Gaza terrorists don't have anything on this magnitude -- not of the weaponry, capability, not of the distance it can go," IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner told CBN News at Israel's navy base in Eilat. "This would have made a huge difference if these rockets made into the terrorists hands. We did a good thing."
"When you go to 200 kilometers, it's almost not important anymore. It reaches all the important targets in Israel," IDF Lt.-Col. (ret.) Reuven Ben-Shalom with Cross-Cultural Strategies Ltd. told us.
The M-302 missiles have a range of more than 120 miles (200 kilometers).
Netanyahu inspected the weapons and said the shipment reveals the true face of Iran and criticized Western diplomats who reach out to Iran's leaders but ignore Iran's actions.
"The weapons on this ship were destined for terrorists in Gaza who are committed to Israel's destruction," Netanyahu said. "The goal was to have these weapons rain down on the heads of Israel's citizens. The ship was organized by Iran, dispatched by Iran, financed by Iran. The missiles were loaded by Iran in Iran.
Netanyahu criticized diplomats who reach out to Iran's leaders but ignore Iran's actions.
"This determination to ignore the truth that was exposed once again with the capture of the ship is first of all hypocritical," Netanyahu said. "I said a moment ago that at most I heard a few faint condemnations of Iran from the international community after we intercepted this murderous shipment. We even saw representatives of the world powers shaking hands and smiling with the heads of Iran's regime, at the same time we were unloading these missiles here in Eilat!"
The prime minister also warned the West they're a future target of Iran.
"Does anyone truly believe that Iran has given up its plans to develop nuclear weapons or long-range ballistic missiles that are capable of carrying nuclear warheads to Europe and the United States?" he asked.
He warned one day Iran could hide a nuclear device in a container and ship it to any port in the world and the West ignores Iran's nuclear program at its own peril.
"So my message today is simple: those engaged in self-deception must awaken from their slumber. We cannot allow Iran to have the capability to produce nuclear weapons. Today, Israel thwarted the dangers to its people. Tomorrow if Iran's military nuclear program is not stopped the whole world could be imperiled."
If you'd like to read Netanyahu's remarks in full, click here.