Iran claims to successfully test missile that can reach Israel

Highly accurate ballistic missile has a range of 2,000 kilometers, was launched two weeks ago, Tehran general says

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Screen capture of an Iranian missile launch, October 10, 2015 (YouTube: PressTV News Videos)
Screen capture of an Iranian missile launch, October 10, 2015 (YouTube: PressTV News Videos)

A senior Iranian general on Monday announced that the country’s armed forces successfully tested a precision-guided, medium-range ballistic missile two weeks ago, the state-run Tasnim agency reported.

“We test-fired a missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers and a margin of error of eight meters,” Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi was quoted as saying at a Tehran science conference.

The eight-meter margin means the “missile enjoys zero error,” he told conference participants.

The general went on to say that 10 percent of Iran’s defense budget has been allocated to “research projects aimed at strengthening defense power,” the report said.

Under a nuclear deal signed last year between world powers and Iran, ballistic missile tests are not forbidden outright, but are “not consistent” with a United Nations Security Council resolution from July 2015, US officials say.

According to the UN decision, “Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology,” until October 2023.

That has not stopped Iran from carrying out a number of tests of ballistic missile technology since the nuclear deal was adopted on October 18, 2015.

In November, Iran launched a missile with a range of 1,930 kilometers (1,200 miles) from a site near the Gulf of Oman, US officials said at the time.

In March, Iran test-fired two more ballistic missiles, which an Iranian news agency said had the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” written on them in Hebrew. An Iranian commander said the test was designed to demonstrate to Israel that it is within Iranian missile range.

That launch sparked international fury as it appeared to flout the agreements made in the Iranian nuclear deal.

The US, France, Britain and Germany decried the launch as “destabilizing and provocative” and called for United Nations action. A UN committee later determined Iran’s ballistic tests were in violation of a Security Council resolution prohibiting Tehran from launching ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Last month, American and Russian officials said Iran test-fired an advanced rocket system in the Dasht-e Kavir desert, in what some considered a cover for intercontinental ballistic missile research.

Israel has pointed to ballistic missile tests as proof Tehran plans to continue pursuing an atomic weapon, despite the landmark agreement aimed at curbing its nuclear program.

In response to the missile tests, Washington imposed fresh sanctions over Iran’s missile program in January, almost immediately after lifting separate sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program under the nuclear deal.

Iran maintains that because it cannot develop nuclear weapons under the deal, none of its missiles is capable of carrying a nuclear weapon.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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