Iran Tests Advanced Missiles, Threatens Israel
Iran fired some of its most powerful missiles on Monday as the Revolutionary Guard concluded two days of war games. Among the missiles tested, according to Iranian state media, were the Shahab-3 and Sajjil.
Both missiles have a range of more than 1,000 miles, and are capable of hitting Israel, Europe, and United States military bases.
On Sunday, the Revolutionary Guard fired a number of short-range missiles. Military leaders said they had also tested a multiple missile launcher for the first time, and had successfully fired two missiles at once.
The announcement of the two-day war games, which began Sunday, was made at the same time as Iranian leaders admitted the existence of a covert uranium enrichment site. “Allah willing, this plant will be put into operation soon, and will blind the eyes of the enemies,” the Supreme Leader's Office said in an official announcement.
Iranian officials said the exercises were unconnected to the discovery of the site, and had been planned for some time. Government-run media quoted military leaders as saying the exercises would serve as a message for “arrogant countries which intend to intimidate.”
On Monday, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi appeared on state television to threaten Israel with destruction in case of an Israeli strike on Iran. “If this [strike] happens... its ultimate result would be that it expedites the Zionist regime's last breath,” he said.
Vahidi claimed that Israel is “on a slope of destruction,” and that its “lifespan is today coming to an end,” whether or not it attempts to strike Iranian nuclear sites.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that his country was worried about Iran conducting test launches of missiles. Earlier in the day, Iran successfully test launched upgraded missiles capable of reaching Israel. Lavrov was quoted by several Russian news agencies as saying, "Of course it is worrisome, when missile launches happen against the backdrop of unresolved situation concerning Iran's nuclear program."
After meeting with his Iranian counterpart at the United Nations in New York, Lavrov said that he urged Tehran to be "maximally cooperative" in its contacts with the International Atomic Energy Agency regarding its previously undisclosed uranium enrichment facility. "It's necessary to show restraint, and we talked about it as well," Lavrov said.