Iran does appears to not be taking Trump's escalating threats too seriously, because just one day after the US imposed restrictions on 25 Iranian individuals and entities in response to a ballistic missile test last week (a move which provoked Tehran to answer by saying it would disclose the names of US individuals and companies involved in "helping and founding" terrorist groups), Iran carried out more missile tests during a military exercise on Saturday.
According to Iran's semi-official Tasnim agency, which cited Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ aerospace division, Iran successfully tested a range of land-to-land missiles and radar systems during the drills in a 35,000 square-kilometer stretch of desert in the northern Iranian province of Semnan.
"If we see the smallest misstep from the enemies, our roaring missiles will fall on their heads," the brigadier general was cited as telling reporters on the sidelines of the military trials, without referring to any particular nations. Any threats made by the U.S. against Iran were "nonsensical,” Tasnim cited him as saying. Hajizadeh also said tat Iran would use its missiles if its security is under threat, and added that "we are working day and night to protect Iran’s security," head of Revolutionary Guards' aerospace unit, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards is holding the military exercise in Semnan province on Saturday to test missile and radar systems and to "showcase the power of Iran's revolution and to dismiss the sanctions," according to the force's website.
Dismissing Trump's comments that "nothing is off the table" in dealing with Tehran, the commander of Iran's ground forces said on Saturday that the Islamic Republic has been hearing such threats since its 1979 revolution. "The defence capability and the offensive prowess of Iran's armed forces would make America or any other enemy regretful of any incursion," Ahmad Reza Pourdastan was quoted as saying by ISNA.
Iranian state news agencies reported that home-made missile systems, radars, command and control centres, and cyber warfare systems would be tested in Saturday's drill. Iran has one of the Middle East's largest missile programmes and held a similar exercise in December to showcase its defence systems, including radars, anti-missile defence units, and short and medium-range missiles.
Tehran confirmed on Wednesday that it had test-fired a new ballistic missile, but said the test did not breach the Islamic Republic's nuclear agreement with world powers or a U.N. Security Council resolution endorsing the pact.
Despite the heated words, Reuters reports that U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Saturday he was not considering raising the number of U.S. forces in the Middle East to address Iran's "misbehavior", but warned that the world would not ignore Iranian activities.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting last Tuesday and recommended the missile testing be studied at committee level after the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, called the test "unacceptable". The Security Council resolution was adopted to buttress the deal under which Iran curbed its nuclear activities to allay concerns they could be used to develop atomic bombs, in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
The resolution urged Tehran to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons. Critics say the resolution's language does not make this obligatory. Tehran says it has not carried out any work on missiles specifically designed to carry nuclear payloads.
As of this morning it appears that Trump has not learned yet about Iran's latest defiant actions, as he has so far focused on "so-called judges" in his morning battery of tweets and has failed to mention Iran yet during his first weekend retreat to his Mar-a-Lago winter retreat in Palm Beach. Instead moments ago he simply tweeted...
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2017