Iran boasts about production of new missiles

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Iran’s state media is boasting about it’s new line of missiles on Saturday. This announcement comes after the U.S. slapped new economic sanctions on the country just last week over its ballistic missile program, saying that Tehran’s “malign activities” in the Middle East undercut any “positive contributions” coming from a 2015 Iran nuclear accord. In that agreement. Tehran promised to curb its nuclear program in return for having international oil and financial sanctions lifted.

Iranian defense minister Hossein Dehghan described the missiles at a ceremony, bragging that the Sayyad 3 missile can reach an altitude of 27 km (16 miles) and travel up to 120 km (74 miles). It can target fighter planes, unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles and helicopters, he said.

Iran’s air defense chief, Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili, stated that the missile is “a completely indigenous technology.”

NATO considers the missiles system to be one of the most advanced in the world, according to a report in Daily Mail, which quoted Israeli Air force commander Major General Amir Eshel saying that the S-300 could pose a “significant but not insurmountable challenge.”

Despite the 2016 accord, Iran has carried on its long-held belief that the country’s nuclear weapons program needs to be defended from Israeli and/or American fighters. To that end, they have been known to announce the production of sophisticated homegrown weapons that cannot be independently verified.

For instance, in 2013, the Iranian Air Force announced that it had built a prototype for a single-seat stealth aircraft called the Qaher-313, but independent experts called it a joke.

Reuters reported that the U.S. government is targeting 18 entities and people for supporting what it said were “illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity.”

“Those sanctioned had backed Iran’s military or the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps by developing drones and military equipment, producing and maintaining boats, and procuring electronic components, according to the report. Others had “orchestrated the theft of U.S. and Western software programs” sold to Iran’s government, the Treasury Department said.

Monday, President Trump agreed for the second time to certify that Iran is complying with the nuclear agreement, despite the fact that he has been a vocal critic of the nuclear accord, which came out of the Obama administration.

Administration officials said that even though the deal was re-certified, they intend to toughen its enforcement and apply new sanctions on Iran, which still supports terrorism, and negotiate with European partners to craft a broader strategy to increase pressure on Tehran. Trump reportedly insisted on such actions before he would agree to the recommendation of his national security team to certify the deal again.

“The president has made very clear that he thought this was a bad deal — a bad deal for the United States,” said Sean Spicer, then White House press secretary, on Monday before the decision was made.

Security advisers reportedly pressed Trump to preserve the Iran deal, which must be re-certified every 90 days, after spending nearly an hour arguing with him, because he did not want to do it. And he had to be talked into signing off on the deal the first time, too.

During the ceremony on Saturday, Dehghan claimed that the recent $110 billion military deal between the United States and Saudi Arabia, which was announced during Trump’s visit to Riyadh in May, would threaten Iran.

“We recently witnessed an immense purchase that some countries in the region paid as a ransom to America and they intend to bring weapons into the region, and this purchase was done with the goal of threatening Islamic Iran,” Dehghan said.

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