With the news that Iran has now exceeded its limits for 3.57 percent enriched uranium under the JCPOA as shown on this article from Iran's Mehr News Agency which quotes from Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif:
…other threats from Iran seem rather pertinent given Washington's penchant for war and Israel's non-stop hatred for all things Iranian.
Here is another news article from Mehr, quoting Mojtaba Zonnour, the Chairman of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission:
In light of this threat, let's take a brief look at Iran's missile capabilities. Thanks to technology from China, North Korea and Russia, Iran has been able to develop its missile technology. According to Missile Threat, Iran has the following missiles in its inventory (sorted by range), noting the following abbreviations:
SRBM stands for short-range ballistic missiles (range of less than 1000 kilometres)
MRBM stands for medium-range ballistic missiles (range between 1000 and 2500 kilometres)
SLV stands for Space Launch Vehicle (used to place satellites into orbit)
Here is a graphic showing the missiles, noting that missiles with a range of greater than 800 kilometres are capable of reaching Israel:
A 2016 analysis by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy suggested that Iran's missile force, at that time, the largest missile force in the Middle East, could double or triple in size by the time the restrictions placed on Iran's nuclear program under the JCPOA are lifted on its termination date in October 2025. Why is Iran so motivated to create a world-class missile force? It was the Iran-Iraq War of 1980 to 1988 that convinced Iran's leadership that the best way to protect Iran was through the development of a missile defense system. By the last few months of the war, Iraq had the capability to hit Tehran with extended-range missiles which resulted in more than one-quarter of Tehran's population leaving their vulnerable capital city.
Iran has developed significant cloaking strategies for its missiles as shown on these photos:
1.) Underground silos:
2.) Camouflaged missile support vehicles (mobile Transport Erector Launcher or TEL):
On December 1, 2018, Iran announced that it had test launched its newest medium-range ballistic missile, a launch that U.S. Secretary of State and co-chief war hawk claimed was a violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 (which it wasn't according to this analysis). The missile was likely a Khorramshahr which has a maximum range of between 2000 and 2200 kilometres when fitted with a 1000 kilogram payload. If launched from the most northwestern tip of Iran, the missile would be capable of reaching Athens and Bucharest. Not to be left out, a January 2019 letter from Ambassador Danny Danon, the Israeli representative to the United Nations, claimed that Iran has launched seven ballistic missiles between December 2018 and February 2019. The letter claimed that Iran launched the aforementioned Khorramshahr, three Zolfaghars (the longest range version of the Fateh-100 ballistic missile), a Qiam (a derivative of the R-17 Scud missile, a Shabab-3 MRBM and another unidentified Scud variant.
Here is a video from a test launch of the Khorramshahr in September 2017:
Here is another letter from the Ambassador dated January 18, 2019 regarding concerns about Iran's launching of a Simorgh missile Satellite Launch Vehicle carrying a Payam satellite:
Here is yet another letter dated February 20, 2019 from Ambassador Danon to the President of the United Nations Security Council outlining Israel's concerns about Iran's missile program and recent tests of a Safir Satellite Launch Vehicle:
Here is the key quote:
"Although Iranian officials describe this activity as intended for civil space research and development, the reality is that these actions are dual-use, and constitute another stage in Iran's development of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear payload.
The international community should see this as one provocative ace in the larger context of Iranian hostile ballistic missile activity….
Iran's rogue efforts to advance its ballistic missile program threatens not only its neighboring countries and the wider Middle East, but much of Europe as well."
It would appear that, in Israel's eyes, Iran is not allowed to launch any of its own satellites either.
Israel's Foreign Affairs Ministry has also recently created this video which provides us with a very, very clear perspective on its views of Iran's missile capabilities and recent tests:
It's interesting to note how Israel appeals to the United Nations when it wants something for itself but manages to ignore the United Nations when it passes resolutions that condemn Israel for its behaviour against its Palestinian neighbours, isn't it? The Ambassador also seems to have forgotten all about Israel's top secret, undeclared nuclear weapons program and its reluctance to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and when asked to join by the United Nations in 2010, had this to say:
"As a non-signatory state of the NPT, Israel is not obligated by the decisions of this conference, which has no authority over Israel…. Given the distorted nature of this resolution, Israel will not be able to take part in its implementation."
While Israel is allowed to protect itself from outside forces with its nuclear weapons and tens of billions of dollars worth of American military equipment, it believes that Iran, a nation that has suffered from missile attacks launched by its next-door neighbour, does not have the same right. That's rather hypocritical, isn't it?
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