Iran vows to increase missile range despite looming UN meet

Source: Iran vows to increase missile range despite looming UN meet | The Times of Israel

Tehran extols program as one of its ‘most important,’ ahead of Security Council gathering on test of nuclear-capable missile

In this photo provided November 5, 2018, by the Iranian Army, a Sayyad 2 missile is fired by the Talash air defense system during drills in an undisclosed location in Iran. (Iranian Army via AP)

Ahead of a UN Security Council meeting concerning Iran’s weekend test of a nuclear-capable missile, Tehran’s air force chief adopted a defiant tone Tuesday, insisting his country would continue to increase the range of its missiles.

“One of our most important programs is increasing the range of missiles and ammunition,” Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh told the state-linked Fars news agency in comments reported by Reuters.

“We don’t see any limitations for ourselves in this field,” he added.

The UN Security Council will meet behind closed doors on Tuesday at the request of France and Britain after they accused Iran of test-firing a medium-range nuclear-capable missile on Saturday, diplomats said.

The United States said the missile launch was a violation of a UN resolution that endorsed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, from which Washington has withdrawn.

That resolution calls on Iran to refrain from testing missiles capable of carrying a nuclear weapon.

The UN Security Council meets on April 14, 2018, at UN Headquarters in New York. (AFP/Hector Retamal)

France said it was concerned by the test, with the foreign ministry describing it as “provocative and destabilizing” and saying it “does not conform” with UN resolution 2231 on the Iran deal.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called the missile test “provocative, threatening and inconsistent” with the resolution and said Britain was determined “that it should cease.”

Iran has long maintained that its missile program is defensive in nature and not aimed at ensuring the delivery of a nuclear weapon, a stance upheld by Russia at the Security Council. Western powers disagree.

Iran has long refused to compromise on its missile development programs, recently revealing that the country’s missile forces can deliver a payload at a distance of some 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles).

In the Fars report, Air Force chief Nasirzadeh did not specify the new range the military was seeking for its missiles.

Earlier this week, Washington’s Iran envoy Brian Hook urged the European Union to employ sanctions that target Tehran’s missile program as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Brussels for talks with European partners.

In this photo released on October 1, 2018, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, a missile is fired from city of Kermanshah in western Iran targeting the Islamic State group in Syria. (Sepahnews via AP)

Hook said US discussions with the Europeans about missile sanctions are gaining traction. Those talks center on slapping penalties on companies and people involved in Iran’s program.

“It is a grave and escalating threat, and nations around the world, not just Europe, need to do everything they can to be targeting Iran’s missile program,” Hook said.

The United States decided in May to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran, to the dismay of its Europeans allies.

The nuclear deal provides for a lifting of sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear activities.

The remaining five signatories to the nuclear deal — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — have backed an EU effort to set up a special payment system in a bid to maintain trade and business ties with Iran.

On Monday night, Pompeo told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a fierce critic of the deal, that the US was committed to “confronting the totality of the Iranian regime’s threats through maximum pressure,” during talks in Brussels on joint efforts to curb Iranian aggression in the region, including by reining in Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group.

Netanyahu made an unexpected trip to Brussels on Monday afternoon to meet with Pompeo.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pictured in front of a menorah on the second night of the Hanukkah festival, during their meeting on the sidelines of a NATO conference in Brussels, Belgium, on December 3, 2018. (Gaby Farkash/GPO)

In a public statement before the closed door talks, Netanyahu thanked Pompeo for the administration’s “strong” stance on Iran, and said he looked forward to discussing joint Israeli-US efforts to “curb Iran’s aggression in the region, in Syria, in Iraq, in Lebanon and elsewhere.”

Netanyahu was reported to be telling Pompeo that Israel could take military action if Beirut does not clamp down on Hezbollah, amid concerns that Tehran has begun shipping advanced arms directly to the terror group in Lebanon.


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3 Comments on “Iran vows to increase missile range despite looming UN meet”

  1. wingate Says:

    2 options 4 Israel :

    1) keeping on talking like the rest of the western world or:

    2)taking action

  2. wingate Says:

    Its obvious for quite some time :

    Only by removing by force the iranian medieval nazi dictators ” the iranian problem ” can be solved…

    Everything else is fearful/wishful trying to ignore/ postbone the facts…

    For too many years now Bibi tried to not face the facts, but it looks as if the (ugly) facts are about to face him/Israel…

  3. wingate Says:

    Boycott IVECO company for doing business
    with todays hitler – regime / the nazi dictators in teheran !

    Bring down IVECO company !

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