Iran fires ballistic missiles for second day in a row

The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) test launched at least three ballistic missiles on Tuesday and Wednesday in separate locations, one known to be East Alborz in the state’s northern region.

Tuesday’s launches were first reported by Iran’s state television news channel. The agency showed video of the IRGC firing a Qiam-1 missile and claimed several other missile tests were performed in various locations, but only one was broadcast to the public.

On Wednesday, two longer-range Qadar missiles were launched in northern Iran. IRGC officials claim that both successfully hit targets 870 miles (1,400 km) away.

“The reason we designed our missiles with a range of 2,000 km is to be able to hit our enemy the Zionist regime [Israel] from a safe distance,” said IRGC Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh.

While the missile tests do not violate the Iran nuclear agreement — JCPOA — the action does contradict a 2015 U.N. resolution which “calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons”.

While it is unclear whether U.N. sanctions will be implemented due to the veto power that China and Russia wield on the Security Council, Senate Republicans called on the Obama Administration to admonish Tehran for their menacing behavior.

In October 2015, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran for performing similar tests, but some foreign policy hawks on Capitol Hill feel that the punishment did not do enough to deter future provocation.

“It’s clear our enemies no longer fear the United States”, said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR). “(Iran is) throwing dirt in the face of the entire free world.”

Cotton’s sharp words follow comments made by Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon against Iran’s “moderate” government, led by president Hassan Rouhani.

“To my regret there are some in the West who are misled by the honeyed words of part of the Iranian leadership”, said Yaalon. “While the other part continues to procure equipment and weaponry, to arm terrorist groups.”

A U.S. State Department spokesman said Tuesday that the Administration will “encourage a serious review of the incident and press for an appropriate response.”


[Reuters] [The Hill] [Photo courtesy IRGC via Reuters]