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    In this Dec. 29, 2016 file photo, released by the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), a long-range S-200 missile is fired in a military drill in the port city of Bushehr, on the northern coast of Persian Gulf, Iran

    Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Promise to Continue Missile Tests

    © AP Photo / Amir Kholousi / ISNA
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    Any efforts by foreign countries to stop the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from testing missiles will be futile as long as Iran exists, a senior IRGC official said Friday.

    Iran testing missiles is akin to a living body breathing, according to an analogy floated by IRGC Brig. Gen. Ali Fadavi. "Is it possible [for a person] to stop breathing?" Fadavi told Iran's official IRNA news agency Friday, noting that missile preparations are one of the Guards' permanent tasks.

    The general noted that US pressure in the form of sanctions has compelled Iran to become more self-reliant, the report says. "The harsher the sanctions get, the more defensive capabilities Iran will achieve," Fadavi said.

    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani before a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, December 20, 2018
    © REUTERS / Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Press Office

    Just 10 days ago, the Guards carried out a ballistic missile test in Iran, though the ballistic missile's type is unclear. According to IRGC Aerospace Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, Iran's military typically conducts about 50 missile tests annually.

    US sanctions ratcheted up another level in early November. Sanctions that had been frozen following the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with the P5+1 nations — France, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, the US plus Germany — thawed following US President Donald Trump's May 2018 decision to withdraw from the deal. The US also moved to apply sanctions against 18 individuals and entities in July 2017 who the US said were intimately involved in Iran's ballistic missile program.

    The head of the recently formed "Iran Action Group" at the US State Department, Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook, offered a glimpse of Iran's latest weapons in late November.

    "We are unveiling Iran's Sayyad 2C surface-to-air missile, which you see behind me. This missile was designed and manufactured in Iran, and the writing in Farsi on its side translates as ‘the hunter missile.' The conspicuous Farsi markings is Iran's way of saying they don't mind being caught violating UN resolutions," Hook told reporters at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling.

    Tehran maintains that all of its ballistic missile activity is consistent with the relevant statutes in United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231.

    The US envoy was formerly an aide to White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, one of the most shameless ultra-hawks in Washington. According to Hook, Iran has the "largest ballistic missile force in the region, with more than 10 ballistic missiles systems either in its inventory or under development," with some of these systems armed with medium-range ballistic missiles that puts "Europe in its range."

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    Tags:
    Iran Nuclear Deal, ballistic missile program, Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), John Bolton, Brian Hook, United States, Iran
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