(CNN) Iran fired ballistic missiles Tuesday as part of drills to show the Middle Eastern country’s “deterrence power,” Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said, according to state news.
The Revolutionary Guard said the missile tests exhibit Iran’s “full readiness to confront all kinds of threats against the Revolution, establishment and territorial integrity.”
Tuesday’s Press TV report characterized the firing of missiles from “silo-based launchers” around Iran as “the final stage of large-scale missile drills.” It also referenced a test last October of a new precision-guided, long-range missile known as the Emad — a liquid-propelled rocket with a 1,050-mile (1,700-kilometer) range — which would put it within reach of longtime Iranian nemeses Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The developing technology has stirred fears Iran could fit the missiles with nuclear warheads, weaponry that Tehran insists it does not possess.
Yet, according to Press TV, Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan has stated the Emad missile is a conventional weapon. And Foreign Minister Javad Zarif — while defending Iran’s right to carry out missile tests — has insisted the country doesn’t have any missiles that could carry nuclear warheads.
Still, there’s hardly a guarantee that skeptical rivals will accept Iran’s assurances that its military “poses no threat to other countries,” as Press TV claimed.
Just look back to what happened last fall, when Iran’s missile tests spurred the U.S. Treasury Department’s to levy sanctions against “11 entities and individuals involvement in procurement on behalf of Iran’s ballistic missile program.”
Ironically, this announcement happened around the same time that broader, international sanctions related to Tehran’s nuclear program were lifted — a move widely seen as a sign of Iran becoming more open and less adversarial with others around the world, including countries in the West.
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