US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is being widely mocked by American pundits and defense analysts for his latest tweet arguing for the extension of the UN Arms Embargo on Iran set to expire based on prior 2015 JCPOA UN agreements.
In a weird last-ditch appeal to members of the UN Security Council, Pompeo argues Iran's air force could attack... Asia?
If the @UN Arms Embargo on Iran expires in October, Iran will be able to buy new fighter aircraft like Russia’s SU-30 and China’s J-10. With these highly lethal aircraft, Europe and Asia could be in Iran’s crosshairs. The U.S. will never let this happen. pic.twitter.com/OwV1gHFjrk— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 23, 2020
The infographic map Pompeo provides as "proof" of his claims cites potential future newly acquired Iranian fighter "capabilities" of reaching up to 3,000km out, deep into China and blanketing India.
Bizarrely, the map in Pompeo's own tweet notes that "These ranges represent a one-way flight only."
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif seized the opportunity, pointing out that Pompeo “is so desperate to mislead the world that he claims come October, Iran will purchase fighter aircraft.”
He added, “And then send them off to the limits of their ONE-WAY ranges. Perhaps he could also say how they would fly back to Iran having exhausted their fuel.”
.@SecPompeo is so desperate to mislead the world that he claims come October, Iran will purchase fighter aircraft.— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) June 23, 2020
And then send them off to the limits of their ONE-WAY ranges.
Perhaps he could also say how they would fly back to Iran having exhausted their fuel.#Shameless pic.twitter.com/t0vVL5y1lz
...Unless Pompeo had in mind some kind of Iranian "one way" kamikaze suicide mission.
Meanwhile, just in time to conveniently bolster US pressure on the UN to extend a total arms embargo on Tehran, those dastardly
aluminum tubes - er, in this case aluminum powder suddenly appears out of nowhere.
A Reuters investigation based on unverifiable "leaked documents" via a former Iranian official now living in France says a 'secret' aluminum facility is a key part of the country ramping up its ballistic missile program.
"Aluminium powder, derived from bauxite, is a key ingredient in solid-fuel propellants used to launch missiles," the new report says.
1. Not sure I understand what's "special" about this Reuters report. Iran is a major producer of aluminum + aluminum powder. IRGC commanders have spoken openly in the past about efforts to produce aluminum powder for use in the defense industry. https://t.co/iMAxMTmFue— Esfandyar Batmanghelidj (@yarbatman) June 24, 2020
However, a number of independent and respected Iran analysts immediately shredded the report, pointing out past and recent IRGC public statements to show none of this was ever "secret" or any kind of explosive new game-changer.
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Perhaps Pompeo is gearing up for his own Colin Powell moment at the UN?