Iran Tests Ballistic Missiles In Defiance Of U.S. SanctionsScreen Shot 2016-03-08 at 11.43.12 AM
According to Iranian State television, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard carried out a series of ballistic missile tests from numerous sites across the country. The move appears to be one of defiance against recent U.S. sanctions against their nuclear program although it is currently unclear if any missile had the capability to carry a nuclear warhead – something that would violate United Nations resolutions.
Two specific resolutions are at risk of having been broken by these tests: The Iran nuclear agreement with the U.S. last summer and United Nations resolution 1929 from October. The deal with the U.S. bars Iran from testing any missile designed to carry a nuclear warhead. The U.N. resolution when one step further after an Emad missile was tested, which stated that Iran couldn’t test any missile that could potentially carry a nuclear warhead as well as additional sanctions on individuals and businesses involved with the test.
In one short video released by Iranian state TV, reporting the tests, a mid-range missile is shown called the Qiam 1. Here is how the video is described by the New York Times:
One three-minute clip showed a missile silo at an enormous underground base with what seemed to be a midrange Qiam 1, a short-range ballistic missile first tested in 2010. “This is a missile revolution,” the presenter said.
The head of the Revolutionary Guards, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, and the commander of the Aerospace Force of the Corps, Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, attended the exercises, state television reported.
General Hajizadeh said that the United States was “trying to turn off the lights of Iran’s missile program.”
“The Guards Corps doesn’t give into threats,” he said.
The segment ended with a shot of the presenter standing outside in the dark as a missile exploded out of the side of a mountain.
Iran currently has the ability to shoot their most advanced missile 1,860 miles and has even used it to send satellites into orbit.
For their part, Iran is playing coy and suggesting that the tested missiles are not capable of carrying such warheads. In a statement on their website, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard said the tests were carried out to:
“…demonstrate Iran’s deterrent power and the Islamic republic’s ability to confront any threat against the revolution, the state and sovereignty of the country, under the auspices of empathy and compassion.”
No word yet on whether or not the U.N. or the U.S. is considering additional sanctions, however one thing is clear: Iran wants the world to know they still are pursuing a robust missile arsenal, nuclear or otherwise.
Check out the Iranian State TV report here:
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