Iran has considerably expanded its missile testing in 2018, and now has missiles capable of reaching some European countries, Western intelligence documents seen by Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper have alleged.
According to the newspaper, the expanded testing may be a violation of the UN resolution endorsing the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Iran nuclear agreement, which called on Iran "not to engage in ballistic missile-related activities designed to use nuclear weapons."
Tehran has maintained that it is in full compliance of the nuclear agreement, and that its missile tests were aimed at ensuring the country's defence. Earlier this month, Iranian Armed Forces spokesman Abolfazl Shekarchi said Iran would continue its missile testing without asking any other countries for permission.
By comparison, Welt's sources said that there were only four tests of medium-range missiles, and one of a short-range missile, in 2017.
Welt calculated that if Iran were to stage its missiles in the country's northwest, they could target countries in southeastern Europe. These countries include Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. The newspaper did not give any indication as to why Tehran might feel the need to target these countries.
Notwithstanding Washington's unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May, Tehran and other signatories to the landmark 2015 nuclear deal remained committed to the treaty. Fellow signatories Russia, China, France, Germany and the United Kingdom as well as the European Union condemned the US withdrawal, while the International Atomic Energy Agency has stressed that Iran remains in full compliance with the accord.
Iran is believed to possess over 1,000 short and medium-range missiles in its arsenal, and was reported to have ramped up testing after the US withdrawal from the JCPOA.
*A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.