Tehran to make 'strategic leap' if Europe tries to limit missile power

05 February, 2019, 08:07 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • EU backs Iran trading system but warns on Syria, missiles

Amir Hatami, underlining that the Islamic Republic of Iran is improving day by day the ability to defend and ensure national security and interests and does not ask anyone's permission in this regard, said "Hoveizeh" long-range cruise missile is a symbol of self-confidence and an important defense achievement representing the climax of global technological advancement.

Iran has missile capability of up to 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles), far enough to reach archenemy Israel and US military bases in the region.

Missile needs a very short time for its preparedness and can fly at a low altitude, says Iranian defence minister.

The Defense Ministry's website carried an undated video purportedly showing the Hoveizeh being test-fired from a mobile launcher.

However, the EU expressed concern about Iran's expansion of its missile programme, particularly its ballistic missile tests, which have been carried out in defiance of opposition from the United States and other European countries.

Iran's space programme has also been criticised by the West, with Washington charging that an abortive satellite launch in mid-January was cover for a bid to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capability.

Since agreeing to a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Iran has expanded its missile program despite warnings from the United States.

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"The (EU) Council has serious concerns regarding Iran's military involvement and continuous presence of Iranian forces in Syria", the statement said.

Washington warned Tehran last month against undertaking three planned rocket launches that it said would violate a UN Security Council resolution because they use ballistic missile technology.

EU-Iran relations have been strained following the latter's ballistic missile program and attacks against dissidents in Europe.

Iran's top judge said on Monday that Tehran would never accept the "humiliating conditions" set by the European Union for non-dollar trade meant to evade USA sanctions, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported. And Europe considers trade with Iran legitimate. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

In a long-awaited statement on Iran that has been the subject of more than a week of wrangling in Brussels, the European Union restated its commitment to saving the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and took aim at Washington for abandoning the pact and reimposing sanctions.

Defying threats from Washington, the UK, France and Germany have executed their plan to set up a special-payments mechanism with Iran and skirt USA sanctions.

"If the Europeans, or anyone else, want to conspire to disarm Iran of missiles, we will be forced to make a strategic leap", the guards' deputy commander Brig-Gen Hossein Salami said on state TV.

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