Following Iran’s test firing of two missiles marked with “Israel must be wiped out,” (officials say workers on the ground added the phrase unbeknownst to the higher level officials). Iranian officials went on the defensive stating that the missile tests do no violate the nuclear agreement or the United Nations resolution. Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari stated to the state-controlled Iranian News Agency that the missiles were for “legitimate defense” and not designed to carry nuclear warheads.
‘The nuclear deal does not directly address missile restrictions. The U.N. Security Council lifted its ban on such testing when the deal was struck, but passed a resolution that “calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles … including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”’
The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, stated Iran has a right to test fire missiles and has no interest in starting wars with any nations, Israel included. He said,
“In the event of any military attack on us, we not only defend ourselves but also will tit-for-tat with various means such as our missiles.“
State Department spokesman Mark Toner stated Secretary of State, John Kerry had voiced his concerns to Iran Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Zarif over the missile test firing and that the department is still trying to figure out exactly what happened. Toner said,
“We will hold them accountable for their actions.“
The test firing of these missiles happened as Vice President Biden was visiting Israel and in a news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr. Biden stated that if Iran broke the terms outlined in the nuclear deal,
“we will act.”
Despite Iran stating that the missiles were fired 870 miles away from Israel, it was still viewed as an act of provocation by Israel’s Foreign Ministry who condemned the missile launches as a “gross violation” of the U.N. resolution covering nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. Israel’s Foreign Ministry also stated that Iran’s missiles have the capability of reaching all of Israel and other Middle East nations,
“The development of ground-to-ground missiles with nuclear warhead capability calls into question Iran’s intentions to comply in full with the nuclear agreement“
This provocative posturing by Iran against Israel is one of many in a long list of actions Iran has launched against the Jewish state. Since the nuclear agreement, Iran has went on the offensive through its state-run media, its military, and use its state-sponsored terrorism (Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestine Islamic Jihad) to continue to harass the state of Israel.
What should the U.S. do regarding Iran’s test firing of missiles and what additional measures should Israel take to protect herself? Sound off in the comments below!