Earlier today, we outlined Washington’s plan to slap new sanctions on Iran in connection the October test-firing of Tehran’s next generation, surface-to-surface ballistic-missile Emad.
Although the launch itself apparently didn’t violate the letter of the nuclear deal, it did violate a UN ban on developing missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons. That triggered an outcry from some members of Congress who feel that the Emad launch amounted to a slap in the face for both the US and Israel considering the ink is barely dry on the nuke accord.
Bowing to the pressure, the Obama administration will now move to sanction around a dozen individuals and companies with ties to Tehran’s missile program.
For its part, Tehran vigorously defends its right to develop what it says are “defensive” weapons. Shortly after the Emad was first test-fired, Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said Iran ‘doesn’t ask anyone’s permission to enhance its defense power or missile capability and will firmly pursue our defense plans, particularly in the field of missiles.’
As a reminder, Iran has the largest and most diverse ballistic missile arsenal in the region according to the ironically-named US Institute Of Peace, and on Thursday, an indignant Rouhani has now ordered Dehghan to “expedite” the missile program.
ROUHANI ORDERS DEFENSE MINISTER TO EXPEDITE MISSILE PROGRAM ROUHANI SAYS IRAN HAS A RIGHT TO DEVELOP MISSILES AS THEY ARE NOT DESIGNED TO CARRY NUCLEAR WARHEADS As Reuters reports, “President Hassan Rouhani ordered his defence minister on Thursday to expand Iran’s missile programme, in response to a U. S. threat to impose sanctions over a ballistic missile test Iran carried out in October.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/31/2015.