Reports from US confirm Iran conducted ballistic missile tests despite UNSC and nuclear deal bans and following Trump Administration sanctions; Missiles test carried out on Gulf of Oman; Netanyahu: Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism. Israel is determined to prevent Iran from tightening its grip on Syria, whether on the ground or in the sea.; Trump & Netanyahu speak “at length” on Iran
Iran launched two ballistic missiles over the weekend according to reports released from United States officials, again violating a United Nations Security Council ban, as well as the nuclear deal.
Iran tested two Fateh-110 short-range ballistic missiles over the weekend from a Revolutionary Guard base in southeastern Iran, its targets in the Gulf of Oman. According to reports from US intelligence officials, the first test was unsuccessful, the second successful, hitting a floating barge on the Gulf.
Iran is prohibited from testing ballistic missiles under United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, as well as under the nuclear deal made between world powers and the United States.
At the end of January, Iran conducted a ballistic missile test, the Trump Administration confirming Iran had tested medium-range ballistic missile east of Tehran in the region of Semnan. The test was of a Khorramshahr ballistic missile, reports claiming the test failed after reaching 600 miles and exploding.
Just a few days later, German media reported that Iran tested a Sumar cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
The Trump Administration then imposed new sanctions on Iran targeting 13 people and 12 companies and entities procuring and providing Iran with ballistic missile technologies and equipment. The sanctions deny these entities of doing business with American citizens or in the United States.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif responded to the sanctions, claiming the missiles tests are not a violation, stating, “The missile issue is not part of the nuclear deal. As all signatories to the nuclear deal have announced, the missile issue is not a part of the deal… Our ballistic missile was designed to carry a normal warhead in the field of legitimate defense,” Zarif stating that Iranian missiles are not capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
In May of 2016, Iran reported that it successfully tested a medium-range ballistic missile, the missile tested reported to be capable of reaching over 1,240 miles. Iran’s Tasnim news agency quoted Iran’s Deputy Chief of Army, Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi at the time who stated “We tested a missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers and eight meters error margin two weeks ago. An eight-meter error margin means…full accuracy.”
Reports of this weekend’s ballistic missile tests come following Iran’s confirmation that had it successfully tested its Russian purchased long-range surface-to-air missile S-300 system on Saturday. Iran’s Air Defense General Farzad Esmaili warned “The S-300 is a system that is deadly for our enemies and which makes our skies more secure.”
And just last weekend, Iran conducted naval drills and war games in the Straight of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman, the Bab el-Mandab and northern Indian Ocean. According to reports from Iranian media, chief of Iran’s navy, Admiral Habibollah Sayyari stated that the aim of the drill was to upgrade the country’s defensive capabilities and send Iran’s message of peace and friendship to the regional countries,” claiming the drills are also for training in the “fight against terrorism and piracy”.
The developments come ahead of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to Moscow with Russian President Putin Thursday, their meeting to center on ending Iran’s military presence and efforts in the Golan Heights. Prime Minister Netanyahu restated on Tuesday morning through Twitter “Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism. Israel is determined to prevent Iran from tightening its grip on Syria, whether on the ground or in the sea.”
President Trump reportedly called Prime Minister Netanyahu, a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office reading “The two leaders spoke at length about the dangers posed by the nuclear deal with Iran and by Iran’s malevolent behavior in the region and about the need to work together to counter those dangers.”