(JNi.media) On Sunday, Iran tested a new precision-guided ballistic missile, named Emad, its first precision-guided weapon that can strike at Tel Aviv, Iranian state news outlets reported. Iran’s missile program has been the largest in the region, but it lacked the accuracy and range required to pose a real threat to the Jewish State. Now, it appears the Islamic Republic has overcome that hurdle. State television proudly displayed a reportedly successful launch of the new missile, followed by a press conference with Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan, who announced: “The Emad missile is able to strike targets with a high level of precision and completely destroy them … This greatly increases Iran’s strategic deterrence capability.”
The test constitutes a clear violation of UN Security Council resolution 2231, which states that “Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology,” said ban holding for the next eight years. But despite Washington’s protests, an administration official was quick to assure CNN that the test does not violate the nuclear agreement reached in July between Iran and the 5+1 world powers, because that accord has nothing to say about ballistic missiles, focusing instead only on restricting Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon.
The White House, the EU, and the Iranians insist that the nuclear deal does not include language banning Iran from building ballistic missiles capable of carrying the nuclear devices Iran is not allowed to produce over the coming decade, even if the same Western signatories say so in their capacity as permanent members of the UN Security Council.
The Tower pointed out that the Iranians use opposite theories, depending on their needs, regarding the connection between their missile and nuclear programs. Theory 1 says the two programs are separate, the UN ban and the nuclear deal have nothing to do with each other. As was evident this past weekend, this permits Tehran to boast of its newly realized threat against the Jewish State without fear of US retribution. Theory 2 says the two programs are linked, and by approving one, the US and its Western allies have, in effect, approved the other. On occasion, Iran takes both positions concurrently, suggesting the UN missile ban and the nuclear deal are linked, but only as far as Western obligations go, not Iranian commitments.
Minister Dehghan told Iranian press on Sunday: “To follow our defense programs, we don’t ask permission from anyone.” And it appears that this sentiment, despite all the official Western rebuke, is receiving nods of approval from Washington and the EU.