Wednesday , 28 October 2020

Iran’s Missile Violations: Where is the International Community?

gatestoneinstitute.org – “The important point about these missiles is that they are fully equipped with homing. It means they are of the fire-and-forget type. We fire the missile and the data is on the missile itself, it has various navigation systems built in.” — Iran’s Navy chief, Adm. Hossein Khanzadi, Associated Press, June 8, 2020.

“We are open about the fact that Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, come from the Islamic Republic of Iran.” — Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah, The New Yorker, December 13, 2016.

“Today, more than ever, there is fertile ground – with the grace of God – for the annihilation, the wiping out, and the collapse of the Zionist regime. In Lebanon alone, over 100,000 missiles are ready to be launched….” — Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Brigadier General Hossein Salami, to Iran’s state-run IRIB TV, July 1, 2016.

Iran’s foreign-based weapons factories give it an advantageous military capability for waging wars or striking other nations through third countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Yemen or Iraq.

Instead of appeasing the ruling mullahs of Iran, it is incumbent on the international community to act to stop this predatory regime — now.

Not a word of condemnation has been issued by either the UN or the EU on the Iranian regime’s acceleration of its threatening ballistic missile program. Pictured: Iranian soldiers launch a Ghader missile on September 11, 2020, during a military exercise near the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran. (Photo by Iranian Army Office/AFP via Getty Images)

Not even a word of condemnation has been issued by either the United Nations or the European Union on the Iranian regime’s latest violations and acceleration of its threatening ballistic missile program. Instead, the UN and the EU are still committed to lifting the arms embargo on Tehran and keeping global sanctions removed from the ruling mullahs.

The regime, meanwhile has been focusing on the proliferation of long-range precision-guided ballistic missiles. It recently unveiled several new missiles — the Haj Qasem surface-to-surface ballistic missile and the Abu Mahdi long-range naval cruise missile — as well as several reportedly high-quality jet engines.

Iran’s theocratic regime currently possesses the largest and most diverse ballistic missile program in the Middle East. It is worth noting that no country other than Iran has acquired long-range ballistic missiles before obtaining nuclear weapons. While ballistic missiles can be used for either offensive or defensive purposes, the sophisticated missiles are mainly developed as delivery vehicles for nuclear weapons.

The regime has fired several ballistic missiles in the past few months and Iran’s Navy chief, Adm. Hossein Khanzadi, bragged on Iran’s state television:

“The important point about these missiles is that they are fully equipped with homing. It means they are of the fire-and-forget type. We fire the missile and the data is on the missile itself, it has various navigation systems built in.”

The Iranian regime is in clear violation of the UN Security Council Resolution 2231. The resolution calls on the Islamic Republic of Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”

In addition, as Iran and the P4+1 (Germany, the UK, Russia, China and France) still contend that the nuclear deal (which Iran never signed) remains effective, Tehran is even violating the nuclear deal due to the fact that it indicates that Iran should not undertake any ballistic missile activity “until the date eight years after the JCPOA Adoption Day (Oct. 18, 2015) or until the date on which the IAEA submits a report confirming the broader conclusion, whichever is earlier.”

The regime’s expansion of its ballistic missile program poses a threat to the stability of the region and the national interests of other countries. For one thing,, the beneficiaries of Iran’s expanding ballistic missile arsenal are basically terror and militia groups. Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, previously admitted:

“We are open about the fact that Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, come from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Iran has also ratcheted up its efforts to advance the missile technology of Yemen’s Houthis. As a UN panel of experts previously acknowledged when the Houthis fired missiles into Saudi Arabia, it is extremely unlikely that the Houthis could manufacture such missiles on their own:

“The design, characteristics and dimensions of the components inspected by the panel are consistent with those reported for the Iranian-manufactured Qiam-1 missile.”

The regime has also been clear about its intentions when it comes to annihilating Israel with ballistic missiles. Iran’s Supreme Guide Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who enjoys the final say in all of Iran’s domestic and foreign policies, proclaimed last year to the youth of Iran that they will soon witness the demise of Israel and all of American civilization. Khamenei made Iran’s intentions clear while meeting with students, declaring:

“You young people should be assured that you will witness the demise of the enemies of humanity, meaning the degenerate American civilization, and the demise of Israel”.

The Commander-in-Chief of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Hossein Salami, also made the strategy of his regime vehemently clear by stating on Iran State TV Channel 2, “Our strategy is to erase Israel from the global political map. And, it seems that, considering the evil that Israel is doing, it is bringing itself closer to that.”

Salami also famously told the state-run IRIB TV:

“Today, more than ever, there is fertile ground – with the grace of God – for the annihilation, the wiping out, and the collapse of the Zionist regime. In Lebanon alone, over 100,000 missiles are ready to be launched. If there is a will, if it serves [our] interests, and if the Zionist regime repeats its past mistakes due to its miscalculations, these missiles will pierce through space, and will strike at the heart of the Zionist regime. They will prepare the ground for its great collapse in the new era”

The Iranian regime is also reportedly setting up weapons factories abroad and manufacturing advanced ballistic missiles and weapons in foreign nations, including Syria. Some of the arms that Tehran is producing there include precision-guided missiles, using advanced technology to strike specific targets. Iran’s foreign-based weapons factories give it an advantageous military capability for waging wars or striking other nations through third countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Yemen or Iraq.

Instead of appeasing the ruling mullahs of Iran, it is incumbent on the international community to act to stop this predatory regime — now.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US foreign policy. He can be reached at [email protected]

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