Defying US sanctions, Iran conducts multiple missile tests!

Defying US sanctions, Iran conducts multiple missile tests!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

Growing US-Iran relations on fast track annoys the nations want to see serious conflicts in Islamic world, especially Arab world led and West Asia.

Ant-Islamic strategists and their media outlets have struck alarm bell warning against US alliance with Iran following West-Iran agreement over Iranian nuclear program. Much before they could manage a rift between USA and Iran, these forces are at work to create trust deficit between Persia and America.

However, the fact Iran continues to pursue its security interests and notwithstanding the US sanctions, it keeps testing high precision missiles as part of its long term security program. .

Iran conducted multiple ballistic missile tests again on March 08 in an exercise to demonstrate “deterrent power,” a move that comes in defiance of US sanctions imposed over its missile program in January. The announcement by the official IRNA news agency said the tests showed the country’s “all-out readiness to confront threats” against its territorial integrity.

Iranian State television a short time after showed still images of the armaments used in what it described as a military drill in which “ballistic missiles were fired from silos” in different parts of Iran.

The United States imposed new sanctions over Iran’s missile programme in January almost immediately after separate sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear activities had been lifted under a landmark deal with world powers.

Ballistic missile tests have been seen as a means for Iran’s military to demonstrate that the nuclear deal will have no impact on its plans, which is says are for domestic defence only.

The missile tests, which come less than two weeks after elections in Iran delivered gains to politicians aligned with Hassan Rouhani, the country’s moderate president. The latest tests, called “The Power of Velayat”, a reference to the religious doctrine of the Islamic republic’s leadership, were undertaken by the Revolutionary Guards and Aerospace Forces, IRNA reported. Major General Ali Jafari, the Guards’ top commander, and Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, were present when the exercise took place, IRNA reported.

Iran’s ballistic missile program has been contentious since the nuclear deal with the USA and five other powers was struck in Vienna on July 14 last year. The Revolutionary Guards report to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, not Rouhani, and their influence dwarfs that of the army and other armed forces.

Earlier, on October 11, Tehran conducted the first of two ballistic missile tests which angered Washington. State television weeks later aired unprecedented footage of underground missile storage bunkers. A UN panel said in December that the tests breached previous resolutions aimed at stopping Tehran from developing missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Iran has always denied seeking an atomic weapon and argues that its missiles would never be designed to carry the WMD. The nuclear deal was heralded by moderates such as Rouhani, who staked his reputation on the negotiations, but hardliners in Tehran said it damaged national interests.
Announcing the new missile sanctions on January 17, one day after the nuclear deal was finally implemented, US President Barack Obama said “profound differences” with Tehran remained over its “destabilising activities”.

As  part of US sanctums, five Iranians and a network of companies based in the United Arab Emirates and China were added to an American blacklist, the US Treasury Department announced.

The White House had first threatened to impose the measures in December but withdrew them after Rouhani hit out at both their timing and intent. Missiles were not part of the nuclear agreement which was to be finalized weeks later.

Asked before the missile sanctions were announced on January 17 how Iran would react to fresh measures against it, Rouhani said: “Any action will be met by a reaction.” Those measures came after four Iranian-Americans, including Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, left Tehran following their release in a prisoner swap with the USA. That exchange was announced on the same day the nuclear deal was implemented.

Even while advancing its security program, however, Iran does not want to jeopardize its new relations with USA and therefore is not interested in creating conflictual saturations with USA.

The strategic class does comprehend the emerging new non-conflictual US-Iran relations on a slow and cautious footing.



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