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Iran has launched up to 39 ballistic missiles since 2015 nuclear deal, new report says

A test-fire of the Fateh-110, an Iranian Ballistic single-stage solid-propellant, surface-to-surface missile. (Hossein Velayati/Wikimedia Commons)
October 02, 2018

Iran’s ballistic missile use has steadily increased in the years since their 2015 nuclear deal.

As many as 39 missiles have been launched by Iran in the three years since signing the deal, according to research fellow Behnam Ben Taleblu, the Washington Examiner reported Tuesday.

The new count follows Iran’s latest missile launch on Syria early Monday, during which they admitted launching at least six ballistic missiles on the headquarters of the suspected terrorists behind the fatal military parade attack.

“This is the third time in less than two years that Iran has used ballistic missiles in an operation against targets in Syria and Iraq,” Taleblu said. “Iran’s increased willingness to fire ballistic missiles from its own territory into another state’s backyard is both a political signal of its defiance against the West as well as measure of its confidence that these measures will not invite kinetic reprisal against their own homeland.”

Of the 39 total estimated missiles launched by Iran, approximately 16 of them have been launched in the past month. Taleblu’s previous report in Jan. 2018 assessed Iran’s missile launch count at 23. The estimate is based on open media reports, as Iran has not issued a tally of missile launches to the public.

“All of Iran’s [medium-range ballistic missiles] are nuclear-capable, and can strike U.S. bases and partners in the region when fired from Iranian territory,” the report said.

Iran’s previous attack took place last month when they fired missiles on an Iranian-Kurdish separatist base in Iraq. The attack killed 15 and wounded at least 50.

Last year, Iran fired missiles into Syria. The attack was considered a retaliatory action for an ISIS attack waged on Tehran. The attack was said to have targeted the Iranian parliament as well as the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

“The Iranian missiles are a message to more than one side,” Talal Atrissi, a researcher at Beirut’s Al Maaref University, told the Associated Press. “It is a message that when Iran threatens, it carries out its threats, and this is important for Iran. The second message is that the sanctions will not prevent Iran from defending itself.”

Iran’s recently heightened missile activity has been considered a response to sanctions imposed by the U.S. after withdrawing from the nuclear deal in May 2018. However, in Mar. 2018, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said that Iran’s missile production had tripled compared to past production, the Times of Israel reported then.

“In the past we had to explain our actions to various bodies, but not any more,” Hajizadeh said.