Iran test fired several long range ballistic missiles in an ongoing military drill in different parts of the country on Tuesday.
The test was intended “to show Iran’s deterrent power and also the Islamic Republic’s ability to confront any threat against the Revolution, the state and the sovereignty of the country,” according to a statement by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard.
The US has imposed missile-related sanctions against Tehran over the testing of the new intermediate-range Emad ballistic missile.
The Revolutionary Guard and the Iranian media did not specify which missiles were used in the test. The underground silos in Iran were first revealed to the public in October 2015, almost coinciding with the revelation of the Emad ballistic missile, and were said to be capable of firing “Iranian missiles of varying ranges.” Iranian news channel Press TV used archive footage of an October test of the Emad missile when reporting the Tuesday test.
The Emad missile is believed to be developed from Iran’s Shahab-3 missile. It is a liquid-propellant ballistic missile with a claimed range of 1,700km and a 750 kg payload. The missile’s primary improvement is said to be a better guidance system of the re-entry vehicle, reportedly reaching an accuracy of 500 meters.
The test in October was condemned by the US and its allies, with Washington saying the missile was “inherently capable of delivering a nuclear weapon,” and that testing it violated UN Security Council Resolution 1929. Tehran denied the allegation, saying it has never tried to develop a nuclear weapon and hasn’t designed any of its missiles to carry one.
The resolution tackled Iran’s controversial nuclear program and was among those which expired in January, when the UN’s nuclear watchdog the IAEA confirmed Tehran’s compliance with the terms of a nuclear deal it struck last year with six leading world powers. In October, at the time of testing, the resolution was still in force.
The UNSC has since adopted another resolution, which called upon Iran not to undertake any work on missiles “designed to” deliver nuclear weapons.