You can read a transcript of the entire briefing at DefenseLink. It’s interesting stuff. The briefing covers a lot of ground but Iran comes up often:
So, if I could have my first slide, please. If I kind of sit back and look at a strategic overview, we all know that the ballistic missile threat has continued to proliferate around the world. Access to these weapons has increased over the past many years and, in fact, two countries that we’re very much concerned about — specifically North Korea and Iran and the developments that they are continuing to make in their missile programs.
According to our own Defense Intelligence Agency, Iran is working on an extended range version of the Shahab-3 and a new 2,000-kilometer medium-range ballistic missile which they term the Ashura. In addition, in February of this year, Iran claimed that it had successfully launched an exploratory space vehicle, space rocket. The analysis that has been indicated shows that it has a resemblance to the Shahab-3 missile as well. And in November and in just this past week, Iran orchestrated launches of several short- and medium-range ballistic missiles capable of striking Israel and the U.S. bases in the Middle East.
Now, recognizing this growing threat, we have embarked on a strategy where we initially wanted to protect the United States from North Korea, because that was the more advanced threat that we saw from the launches that they conducted in 1998 and again in 2006 with their longer-range missiles. And we have turned to field that capability; we have done so. And I’ll show you what that configuration looks like today.
The next phase was to be able to operate in one region or one theater, which we’ve also done. We’re not completely there, but we’re beginning to continue to roll out capabilities against a shorter and medium-range threats using mobile assets like our sea-based Aegis and Patriot systems that are deployable.
And in addition, we wanted to turn our attention to expanding our coverage against Iran because we view them as the next — the next concern that we had to worry with. And that meant that we needed to protect the United States and then to expand that protection for our deployed forces and our allies and friends in the European theater, and then eventually it would operate in more than one theater with our mobile assets.