Ok. I fell for it, too. Or at least, I believed the news reports I was reading.
I wrote Saturday about Iran firing off a new mid-range ballistic missile, in defiance of the United States.
Well, about that…
According to Fox News, it didn’t happen. Iran was pulling a fast one on the U.S., and in particular, President Trump.
The video released by the Iranians was more than seven months old – dating back to a failed launch in late January, which resulted in the missile exploding shortly after liftoff, according to two U.S. officials.
President Trump had originally responded to the reported launch in a late-Saturday tweet, saying, “Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel. They are also working with North Korea. Not much of an agreement we have!”
Trump had recently railed against the Iran nuclear agreement, while speaking before the United Nations. He called the deal “an embarrassment.”
“We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program,” he said.
Speaking the day after Trump, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, claimed his nation’s missile program is strictly for defense (no matter how many times they’ve threatened to destroy Israel).
The footage that was shown last week was of a late January launch was an attempt to send up a Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile. It made it 600 miles before exploding.
That part wasn’t shown on the video that had been released.
— Press TV (@PressTV) September 23, 2017
Iran’s new medium-range missile is based on a North Korean design—Pyongyang’s BM-25 Musudan ballistic missile, which has a maximum range of nearly 2,500 miles, putting U.S. forces in the Middle East and Israel within reach if its problems are fixed.
“The very first missiles we saw in Iran were simply copies of North Korean missiles,” said Jeffrey Lewis, a missile proliferation expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. “Over the years, we’ve seen photographs of North Korean and Iranian officials in each other’s countries, and we’ve seen all kinds of common hardware.”
Last weekend, a senior Iranian general said the missile had a range of less than 2,000 miles.
“The Khoramshahr missile has a range of 2,000 kilometers [1,250 miles] and can carry multiple warheads,” Iran’s official IRNA news agency quoted Revolutionary Guards aerospace chief General Amir Ali Hajizadeh as saying.
The missile “is capable of carrying multiple warheads,” Hajizadeh added.
U.S. officials say they’re not sure why Iran is lying about the capabilities of their missiles. Nobody is guessing why they lied about this latest missile test that never was.
Experts say Iran possesses the largest arsenal of ballistic missiles in the Middle East, with more than 1,000 short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. Tehran has conducted over 20 missile tests since 2015.
According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Iran is “supplying proxies such as Hezbollah and Syria’s al-Assad regime with a steady supply of missiles and rockets” and “likely supplying Houthi rebel groups with short-range missiles in the ongoing conflict in Yemen.
U.N. resolution 2231 was put into place after the initial Iran nuclear deal. It asks that Iran not conduct ballistic missile tests, but doesn’t require them to refrain from it. That was a little twist included from Russia and China.
I guess we see how willing they are to comply with requests.