Military Commander: Iran Has Increased Missile Production Threefold
A senior Iranian army commander slammed as “hypocrisy” Western attempts to curb Tehran’s military ambitions and revealed that the Islamic Republic has tripled its missile production. The comments by Amir Ali Hajizadeh, leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force, came just two days after French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited the Iranian capital to push for the regime to limit its production and testing of ballistic missiles; this, amid threats by U.S. President Donald Trump to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear accord and re-impose sanction on Iran for its “nefarious” activities. Tehran’s perceived flouting of a United Nations Security Council resolution related to its ballistic missile program is a contentious issue. While the atomic pact does not specifically cover the matter, prior to 2015 a legally binding UN resolution definitely stated that, “Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” However, during the nuclear agreement’s negotiating process, the existing resolution was replaced with a new one that merely “called upon” the Islamic Republic to refrain from ballistic missile work for eight years. Since then, Iran reportedly has tested upwards of two dozen ballistic missiles, which it argues is permitted because the projectiles could not possibly be developed with nuclear weapons in mind, as atomic arms are explicitly banned under the 2015 deal. Still, most defense analysts disagree with this circular reasoning given that ballistic missiles serve little purpose other than as a delivery apparatus for nuclear warheads.