display featuring missiles and a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
display featuring missiles and a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali KhameneiReuters

A former Syrian army general who defected said this week that Iran is building, and carrying out tests on, short-to-medium-range missiles with chemical warheads in Syria.

Zaher Al-Sakat, who now runs a chemical weapons monitoring agency in Brussels, told Kan that “Iran continues to be a central supplier of chemical weapons for the Syrian regime, alongside independent development of chemical weapons in Syrian territory.”

He further stated that “A large part of the stockpiles of chemical weapons hidden from international inspectors have also been transferred to Hezbollah.”

"At three different centers in Syria, Iranian scientists, technicians and military personnel develop missiles with chemical warheads ranging from 5 to 35 kilometers to be used for military operations within Syrian territory - but also for operations across the border."

The Syrian army and pro-regime militias conduct daily attacks on the population in which chlorine gas is used, he said.

Al-Sakat has said that, as a general in the Syrian army, he had been ordered to use chemical weapons three times. He said that each time, however, he found himself unable to carry out the intended attack, and instead replaced the chemical canisters with other harmless chemical substances.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke at AIPAC’s annual conference in Washington DC about Iran’s growing influence across the Middle East.

"The bad news is that bad things are getting worse, and they're very bad. We have to deal with this challenge - and I'm thinking specifically about what do we do about Iran.

"The force behind so much of what is bad is this radical tyranny in Tehran. If I have one message for you today, it’s a very simple one. We must stop Iran. We will stop Iran.

“When I last spoke here I warned the world about a nuclear deal that was a threat to the survival of Israel, the security of the region, the peace of the world. I warned that Iran’s regime had repeatedly lied to the international community, that it could not be trusted. I warned that the deal gives Iran a clear path towards developing a nuclear arsenal in little more than a decade.

“Here is what Iran is doing today…darkness is descending on our region. Iran is building an aggressive empire. Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Yemen – more to come.

“We will never let Iran develop nuclear weapons. Not now, not in 10 years, not ever.”