Peace in our time!
“Iran conducts new missile tests defying US sanctions,” by Arthur MacMillan, AFP, March 8, 2016:
Tehran (AFP) – Iran conducted multiple ballistic missile tests Tuesday in what it said was a display of “deterrent power,” defying US sanctions imposed earlier this year aimed at disrupting its missile programme.
State media announced that short-, medium- and long-range precision guided missiles were fired from several sites to show the country’s “all-out readiness to confront threats” against its territorial integrity.
Pictures of the launches were broadcast and reports said the armaments used had ranges of 300 kilometres (190 miles), 500 km, 800 km and 2,000 km.
The United States hit Iran with fresh sanctions on its missile programme in January, 24 hours after separate sanctions related to Tehran’s nuclear activities had been lifted under a landmark deal with world powers.
The latest tests, during an exercise named “The Power of Velayat”, a reference to the religious doctrine of the Islamic republic’s leadership, were undertaken by the Revolutionary Guards and its Aerospace wing.
Velayat-i-faqih is rule by Islamic clerics, in imitation of Muhammad’s combined political, military and spiritual leadership. It is a concept articulated by the Ayatollah Khomeini and is the guiding philosophy of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Sepah News, the Guards’ official media service, carried a statement confirming the tests, which come less than two weeks after elections in Iran delivered gains to politicians aligned with Hassan Rouhani, the country’s moderate president.
The Revolutionary Guards report to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, not Rouhani, and their influence dwarfs that of the army and other armed forces.
Ballistic missile tests have been seen as a means for Iran’s military to demonstrate that the nuclear deal will have no impact on its plans, which is says are for domestic defence only.
Major General Ali Jafari, the Guards’ top commander, and Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, spoke about the tests on television, with the latter downplaying the effect of US efforts to disrupt its activities.
“Our main enemies, the Americans, who mutter about plans, have activated new missile sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran and are seeking to weaken the country’s missile capability,” Hajizadeh said.
“The Guards and other armed forces are defenders of the revolution and the country will not pay a toll to anyone… and will stand against their excessive demands.”…