Staff, Times of Israel
27 February 2017
Amid tensions with the United States, Iran announced on Monday that it tested two missiles during a series of naval drills in the Persian Gulf. One was fired from a submarine, it said. Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said the Nasir missile, which he described as Iran’s latest submarine launched cruise missile, “successfully hit its target” during its test launch, the official IRNA news agency reported. Tasnim news agency said the Dehlaviyeh, a laserguided missile, had also been successfully tested. It was reported back in 2012 that Iran had based the Dehlaviyeh on a Russian anti-tank missile. The ranges of the two missiles were not given. The most recent Iranian missile firings follow the launches of a ballistic missile and cruise missile in late January — both of which are nuclear capable — with the former resulting in new US sanctions on a number of entities involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and a warning from US President Donald Trump that the Islamic Republic had been “put on notice” and that “nothing is off the table” in terms of a military response to perceived Iranian provocations.
Cruise missiles — such as the Nasir fired in the most recent missile launches — are not covered by UN Resolution 2231, which was passed shortly after the nuclear deal with Iran was signed in July 2015 and calls on Tehran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.” Iran argues that its ballistic missile program is also not covered by the resolution because it does not have a nuclear weapons program. However, the test is likely to be viewed in Israel and the US as another aggressive maneuver by Tehran to expand its missile program. Since Trump’s inauguration in January, there has been a marked increase in tensions between the the US and Iran, with a number of senior Iranian military officials issuing pointed warnings to the US if it takes military action over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. AFP contributed to this report.