Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei on Monday said the United States cannot “do a damn thing” about the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program.
“They have engaged in a lot of hue and cry over Iran’s missile capabilities, but they should know that this ballyhoo does not have any influence and they cannot do a damn thing,” Khamenei said, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.
Iran in March tested ballistic missiles, including two with the words “Israel must be wiped off the earth” emblazoned on them, according to the US and other Western powers. 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.
“The US and other powers are extremely sad at this issue and they have no other option; that is why they made huge efforts in order to bring the country’s decision-making and decision-taking centers under their control, but they failed and God willing, they will continue to fail,” Khamanei said on Monday.
The supreme leader, who has final say on state matters, lambasted the “arrogant” Western powers, arguing that efforts to shut down its nuclear program and missile tests were a pretext to meddle in Iran’s affairs.
“The nuclear issue and missiles are excuses and of course excuses are useless and they can do no damn thing,” Khamenei said. “The point is Iran doesn’t follow arrogant powers.”
“In this war, willpowers are fighting. The stronger willpower will win,” Khamenei added.
Also Monday, Iranian Revolutionary Guards general Qassem Soleimani maintained that without the Islamic Republic, the Islamic State would now control all of Syria. The United States has been forced to back down in the region, he said, according to Iranian reports.
Last week, a senior Iranian military commander boasted that the Islamic Republic could “raze the Zionist regime in less than eight minutes.” Ahmad Karimpour, a senior adviser to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite unit al-Quds Force, said if Khamenei gave the order to destroy Israel, the Iranian military had the capacity to do so quickly.
“If the Supreme Leader’s orders [are] to be executed, with the abilities and the equipment at our disposal, we will raze the Zionist regime in less than eight minutes,” Karimpour said Thursday, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.
A senior Iranian general on May 9 announced that the country’s armed forces successfully tested a precision-guided, medium-range ballistic missile two weeks earlier that could reach Israel, 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.