Israel Condemns Iranian Missile Tests; Tehran Denies Violating Nuclear Deal, UN Resolution — While Threatening ‘Enemies of Islamic Revolution’
Israel on Thursday strongly denounced Iran’s latest missile test, claiming it is a blatant violation of a UN Security Council resolution adopted in July, and of the nuclear deal reached with world powers, Israel Radio reported.
This was in reference to Wednesday’s launch of two ballistic missiles — emblazoned with the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” in Hebrew – as well as repeated missile tests over the past several days, all of which Tehran has made a point of publicizing with fanfare.
Following Israel’s condemnation (and a purported conversation between US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in which the former expressed Washington’s concern over the missile tests), Iran insisted that the launches, carried out by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, did not constitute a violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or any UN Security Council resolution.
The missiles in question, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman told the regime’s IRNA news agency, are “conventional defensive instruments, and they were merely for legitimate defense.”
This comes on the heels, however, of Tuesday’s statement by IRGC commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari to the regime-aligned news agency, Tasnim, according to which all the “enemies of the Islamic Revolution” should fear Tehran’s missiles, but Israel should be particularly concerned.
Jafari said the drill clearly demonstrated that all of the IRGC’s missile silos are fully operational, emphasizing that Iran had achieved such a feat despite the pressure of Western-imposed sanctions.
These comments coincided with US Vice President Joe Biden’s arrival in Israel for a two-day visit to meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials.
The Washington Post reported that Biden “warned Wednesday that the United States would not hesitate to act against any ‘conventional’ military activity by Iran outside of last year’s landmark nuclear deal, underscoring the Obama administration’s concern after apparent back-to-back missile tests by Tehran.”