The US recently issued more sanctions on Iranian entities with connections to Iran’s missile program after recent long-range missile tests by the Islamic Republic. Two days later, Iran responded: by threatening more missile tests. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was quoted by PressTV as saying on Saturday, “We will respond to recent US measures against Iran’s missile program by further boosting our missile power.”
Zarif recently took to Twitter to defend the missile tests, arguing that missiles are for self-defense and would have prevented attacks on Iranian civilians by Iraq in the 1980s war between the nations. But that wouldn’t explain why Iran’s own Fars News Agency reported that one of the latest missiles tested had written on it, in Hebrew, “Israel should be wiped off the Earth”. An analyst in Israel, meanwhile, believes that Israel could defend itself against Iran’s nuclear program if it comes to that.
The Jerusalem Post, citing a news report in Israel’s Channel 10, said that Institute of National Security Studies head Amos Yadlin told a conference on Saturday that if forced to choose between an Iran with nuclear weapons and preemptively striking Iran’s nuclear facilities, Israel could pull off the attack and succeed.
For now, the US is trying to stymie Iran with sanctions on their missile program. A press release from the US Department of Treasury and posted to their website on the sanctions highlighted the dangers posed by Iranian missiles.
“Iran’s ballistic missile program and its support for terrorism pose a continuing threat to the region, to the United States, and to our partners worldwide,” said Adam J. Szubin, Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in the press release. “We will continue to use all of our tools to counteract Iran’s ballistic missile program and support for terrorism, including through sanctions.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, March 26, 2016)