At the Ready: Iran testing ballistic missiles ‘To Counter Growing Threats’

Sputnik News– Iran’s ballistic missile tests are a consequence of its constant vigilance about national security, rather than a direct response to last month’s exercises by the US, UK and France in the Persian Gulf, foreign policy adviser Sabbah Zanganeh told Sputnik.

Iran has successfully test-fired its Hormuz-2 ballistic missile, Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps told the Tasnim news agency on Thursday.

The Hormuz-2 is a domestically-made ballistic missile capable of destroying sea-based targets at a range of up to 300 kilometers (186 miles).

In Thursday’s test, the missile managed to successfully hit its target at a distance of 250 km, Hajizadeh added.

He also told Tasnim that Iran had prepared a civilian rocket intended for putting satellites into orbit, but, fearing threats from Washington, postponed the planned launch.

At the weekend, the IRNA news agency also announced the successful test of a S-300 missile defense system delivered from Russia last year.

Former adviser to the Iranian foreign ministry Sabbah Zanganeh told Sputnik that Iran’s rocket launches are taking place according to a strict schedule, because the Iranian military is always working to improve its defense capabilities.

“Iran has a lot of wide coastal zones: from the Persian Gulf to the Chabahar region of the Oman Strait which has access to the Indian Ocean. These vast areas certainly need constant protection against any kind of threats, aggression and attacks.”

“Iran has an inalienable right under international law to protect itself and its national interests, free trade and sovereignty. That’s why the successful test of the Hormuz-2 missile is of a defensive nature and was carried out according to the Iranian military’s strict schedule,” Zanganeh said.

He said that local media is giving them unprecedented levels of attention because of recent naval exercises by US, UK and French navies in the Persian Gulf.

“Of course, the full-scale Western media coverage of recent military exercises by the US, British and French navies in the Persian Gulf could not be ignored. But Iran will behave as openly as possible, it is not going to change its position in this regard.”

“As a counterweight to such growing threats from the armed forces of third countries, the Islamic Republic of Iran shows the power of its armed forces. Iran will strive to improve its defense capability.”

“Iran doesn’t react to the Western media’s information ‘scarecrows.’ On the contrary, it guards its borders relentlessly with its forces at the ready to deal with any kind of threat,” Zanganeh said.

The Iranian military has reportedly conducted several weapons tests in recent months. Last week the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps launched two short-ranged ballistic missiles, one of which successfully destroyed a floating barge nearly 150 miles away in the Gulf of Oman.

On February 8, the military reportedly tested a short-range Mersad surface-to-air missile from its Semnan launch pad.

On January 29, Iran conducted a medium-range ballistic missile test for which it was stiffly rebuked by the Trump administration, which announced new sanctions against Iran for conducting the test.

Iran maintains that the missile test did not violate the nuclear agreement or UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which affirmed the implementation of the nuclear deal.

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