For at least the second time this week, Iran has breached international agreements by test-firing ballistic missiles. Today, however, the Islamic Republic sent a clear and chilling message about its intentions — clearly timed to send a message to the Obama administration coinciding with Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel.
Via Yahoo Finance:
Iran test-fired two ballistic missiles Wednesday with the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” written in Hebrew on them, a show of force by the Islamic Republic as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited Israel.
Such phrases have been emblazoned on Iranian missiles before, but this test comes shortly after the implementation of a nuclear deal with world powers, including the U.S., and follows similar drills in recent days.
Hard-liners in Iran’s military have fired rockets and missiles despite U.S. objections since the deal, as well as shown underground missile bases on state television.
There was no immediate reaction from Jerusalem, where Biden was meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who strongly opposed the nuclear deal.
Biden, speaking next to Netanyahu, did not acknowledge the missile launch directly but he issued a strong warning to the Iranians.
“A nuclear-armed Iran is an absolutely unacceptable threat to Israel, to the region and the United States. And I want to reiterate which I know people still doubt here. If in fact they break the deal, we will act,” he said.
This week’s series of tests have included short-, medium- and long-range precision guided missiles with ranges of between 300 and 2,000 kilometres, state media reported.
“The reason we have designed these missiles with such a range — 2,000 kilometres — is to be able to hit our remote enemies, the Zionist regime,” Hajizadeh said, referring to Israel. [General Amir Ali Hajizadeh heads the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace wing.]
“But there is no need to fire missiles to destroy the Zionist regime as it will gradually collapse. Our main enemy is the US,” he said.
Earlier this week, as we reported, Iran threatened to walk away from the nuclear deal if the United States and other global powers fail to advance the Islamic Republic’s “national interests.” Today’s demonstration is a stark reminder of two such key “national interests” for Iran.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]