On Tuesday, Tehran demonstrated its “deterrent” capabilities by launching several mid-range ballistic missiles.
In a show of force dubbed “The Power of Velayat” (a nod to the Republic’s religious doctrine), Iran tested what looked like several medium-range Qiam-1s, missiles based on the Shahab of which Iran has hundreds stashed in underground storage facilities.
“Defensive” or no, the tests obviously fly in the face of western sanctions and underscore the extent to which Tehran deeply mistrusts its regional rivals in Israel and Saudi Arabia.
On Wednesday, the IRGC tested more missiles and this time, they had a name on them - literally.
“Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) test-fired two ballistic missiles on Wednesday morning that it said were designed to be able to hit Israel, defying a threat of new sanctions from the United States,” Reuters reports. “The IRGC fired two Qadr missiles from northern Iran which hit targets in the southeast of the country 1,400 kms (870 miles) away, Iranian agencies said. The nearest point in Iran is around 1,000 km from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.”
Here are the visuals:
According to at least one source, the missiles were inscribed with a Hebrew message: "Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth."
In a testament to the "success" of Washington's foreign policy towards Iran, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the IRGC said the following: "The missiles fired today are the results of sanctions. The sanctions helped Iran develop its missile program."
As much as we support any nation's right to defend itself and while we think there's much to be said for the argument that Washington is on the wrong side of history with its unwavering support of Israel and the Saudis in the face of unequivocal evidence that both states have committed human rights abuses, sending messages to Netanyahu on conventional missiles is silly. Israel is sitting on a stockpile of nuclear weapons and could wipe Iran off the face of the planet tomorrow if it decided to.
But that only underlines why the IRGC feels the need to posture. How is it equitable that one modernized country is allowed to build one of the most efficient and intimidating militaries on the planet while another is relegated to stockpiling hundreds of missiles in underground silos that frankly, would be useless against a nuclear state?
Oh, that's right. It's fair because this guy is a maniac, hell bent on destroying the modern world...
...and this guy is a revered symbol of international diplomacy...
If you buy that, we've got a real estate opportunity in Homs we'd like to sell you...