Iran Revolutionary Guards conduct ballistic missile test

World Tuesday 08/March/2016 21:38 PM
By: Times News Service
Iran Revolutionary Guards conduct ballistic missile test

Dubai/Washington: Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) test-fired several ballistic missiles from silos across the country on Tuesday, state television said, as the United States said if reports of fresh tests are confirmed it planned to raise the issue at the UN Security Council and push for an "appropriate response".
The test happened two months after the United States sanctioned businesses and individuals linked to Iran's missile programme over a test of the medium-range Emad missile carried out in October 2015.
Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC's aerospace arm, said sanctions would not stop Iran developing its ballistic missiles, which it regards as a cornerstone of its conventional deterrent.
"Our main enemies are imposing new sanctions on Iran to weaken our missile capabilities But they should know that the children of the Iranian nation in the Revolutionary Guards and other armed forces refuse to bow to their excessive demands," the IRGC's website quoted Hajizadeh as saying.
A state television report showed a missile being fired from a fortified underground silo at night time. The presenter said it was a medium-range Qiam-1 missile, and the test took place in the early hours of Tuesday.
"The missiles struck a target 700km away," Hajizadeh said.
State-run Press TV had earlier shown footage of the Imad missile, Iran's most advanced model under development, being fired.
However, that footage appeared to be of the earlier October launch that triggered the US sanctions.
Tuesday's test was intended "to show Iran's deterrent power and also the ability to confront any threat, the state and the sovereignty of the country", the IRGC's official website said.
While any missile of a certain size could in theory be used to carry a nuclear warhead, Iran says the Emad and other missiles are for use as a conventional deterrent. Recent work has focused on improving the missiles' accuracy, which experts say will make them more effective with conventional warheads.
Meanwhile, the US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, "We're aware of and following closely the reports that Iran has just conducted several ballistic missile tests," adding that such tests would not violate the July 14 Iran nuclear agreement.
"If confirmed, we intend to raise the matter in the UN Security Council."
"We will also encourage a serious review of the incident and press for an appropriate response," toner added. "We also continue to aggressively apply our unilateral tools to counter threats from Iran's missile programme."
The United Nations said the October test, which took place after Iran reached a nuclear deal with world powers in July, violated Security Council Resolution 1929 which barred Iran from undertaking any work on nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.
That resolution expired when the nuclear deal was implemented in January, but a new resolution then came into force under which Iran is "called upon" not to undertake any work on missiles "designed to" deliver nuclear weapons.