While the US government decided to restore all the Iranian regime’s sanctions because of the regime’s significant violations of the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA),
Tehran in a ridiculous show and just to satisfy the regime’s forces, which have lost hope and motivation in the regime’s future, reported and unveiled two new missiles.
It’s defense Minister Amir Hatami said in a TV speech: “The surface-to-surface missile, called martyr Qasem Soleimani, has a range of 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) and the cruise missile, called martyr Abu Mahdi, has a range of over 1,000 kilometers (620 miles).”
Soleimani and Muhandis, the two persons which the missiles are named after, were killed in a U.S. drone strike outside of Baghdad’s international airport in January. Abu Mahdi Muhandis was sentenced to death by the Kuwaiti Supreme Court in connection with the 1983 Kuwaiti suicide bombings. Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force, was notorious as the regime’s mastermind for its oversea terror operations and meddling in other countries leading the wars in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and supporting many of its proxy forces. It was reported that he was the de facto second-in-command in this regime, responsible for the death of many US soldiers.
The regime’s President Hassan Rouhani noted: “Missiles and particularly cruise missiles are very important for us … the fact that we have increased the range from 300 to 1,000 in less than two years is a great achievement. Our military might and missile programs are defensive.”
The ballistic missile program of the Islamic Republic of Iran has drawn criticism and concern from the United States and several European countries, including France. Iran has previously said that its current missile range is 2,000 kilometers.
The claims of Iranian military officials have been repeatedly refuted by international experts, and IRGC officials have been accused of showmanship or copying other countries ‘equipment or tampering with other countries’ military products.
Iran asserts that the missiles are equipped with anti-jamming software and low-visibility flight profiles. Whether that is true or not, these missiles do prove the regime’s continuing priority development of nuclear strike platforms. Due to its cost and complexity, and the escalation-response its use would entail, Iran’s ballistic missile program is specifically focused on nuclear weapons. Iran’s interest here goes beyond the defensive. While Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the conservative faction believe their attainment of a credible nuclear deterrent platform would ensure the regime’s long-term survival, they also view nuclear weapons for advancing the regime’s so-called Islamic revolution.
It seems that this time too, due to the sensitive situation in the region and the possibility of more comprehensive international sanctions and the isolation of the Iranian government in the region, the Iranian authorities needed such a show of strength. The Iranian regime these days is facing a significant instability inside the country, which is reflected in the nation-wide protests of many of the working classes including the oil and petrochemical workers who are the main income source of the regime.
On social media, the Iranian people mocked the regime’s actions and in protest at spending heavy costs on such useless projects. Some social media messages included:
- What is the use of a rocket in a country where people are looking for food in the trash?
- Qasem Soleimani, a terrorist, deserves that his name is engraved on a rocket. With these missiles, they want to demolish the houses of Syrian children or hit a passenger plane.
- They built the Qasem Soleimani missile, which only hits its own planes.
- They reported that the Qasem Soleimani’s missile is precision-guided and has many capabilities. For example, it pulverizes a passenger plane in the air in a fraction of a second.
- After the funny sculptures of Qasem Soleimani, the Soleimani rocket was unveiled today.
- The IRGC bought and painted several missiles from North Korea and named them Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
On August 20, the US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo told a press conference at the UN about the UN snapback sanctions:
“I notified them that the United States is initiating the restoration of virtually all UN sanctions on Iran lifted under UN Security Council Resolution 2231. This process will lead to those sanctions coming back into effect 30 days from today.
“Our message is very, very simple: the United States will never allow the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism to freely buy and sell planes, tanks, missiles, and other kinds of conventional weapons. These UN sanctions will continue the arms embargo.
“I’m pleased to say, too, that these restored sanctions will also reimpose accountability for other forms of Iranian malign activity that the authors of the nuclear deal foolishly downplayed. Iran will be again prohibited from ballistic missile testing. Iran will be back under sanctions for ongoing nuclear activities – such as the enrichment of nuclear material – that could be applied to a nuclear weapons program.”