Iran ‘conducts two new missile tests’

Ballistic missile launched during a test in an undisclosed locationImage copyright

Image caption

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards released this picture on Tuesday of a missile launch at an undisclosed location

Iran has launched two new ballistic missiles, state media say, continuing a military exercise that has drawn a threat of a US diplomatic response.

The Revolutionary Guards launched the missiles from northern Iran against targets in the south-east, reports say.

On Tuesday, the country said it had launched several ballistic missiles as part of the same exercise.

In January, the US imposed sanctions targeting Iran’s missile programme in response to a previous round of tests.

UN experts said those tests had violated a Security Council resolution.

Resolution 1929, which barred Iran from undertaking any work on ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, was terminated after a nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers was implemented two months ago. A new resolution, 2231, then came into force that “calls upon” Iran not to undertake such activity.

Iran says it does not have nuclear weapons and will continue missile development.

The two Qadr H and Qadr F missiles hit targets 1,400km (870 miles) away, state media reported.

The missiles were produced by Iranian experts and the “successful” drills were aimed at showcasing the country’s power, the Revolutionary Guards said, according to Iran’s English-language Press TV channel.

They had the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” written on them, the Fars news agency reported, AP said.

Image copyright

Image caption

A member of the Revolutionary Guards is seen next to a missile launcher in an underground tunnel at an undisclosed location

Image copyright

Image caption

Iran says its missiles are for use solely as a conventional deterrent

“The missiles fired today [Wednesday] are the results of sanctions. The sanctions helped Iran develop its missile programme,” Brig Gen Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the Guards, was quoted as saying by Fars.

Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards maintain dozens of short and medium-range ballistic missiles, the largest stock in the Middle East, Reuters news agency says.

While any missile of a certain size could in theory be used to carry a nuclear warhead, Iran says its missiles are for use solely as a conventional deterrent.

It says it has ballistic missiles with a range of 2,000km (1,250 miles) that would be capable of reaching Israel and US military bases in the Middle East.

On Tuesday, US officials threatened to raise Iran’s exercises at the UN Security Council if the reports were confirmed. But authorities said the tests would not violate the nuclear deal reached in January.

Under the agreement, Iran agreed with strict limits and checks on its disputed nuclear programme. In return, economic sanctions on the country would be lifted.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described it as a “historic mistake” that cleared the way for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

comments powered by Disqus