LONDON/TEHRAN: Iran has extended the number of its land-to-sea ballistic missiles to 700 km, yesterday a senior Iranian military official said, amid rising tensions with america over Tehran’s missile program. US President Donald Trump pulled of a global agreement on Iran&rsquo out;s nuclear program in-may and reimposed sanctions on Tehran, saying the offer was flawed since it didn’t include curbs on Iran’s development of ballistic missiles or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and lebanon.
Iran, which says its missile program is defensive purely, has threatened to disrupt oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf if america tries to strangle Iranian oil exports. “We’ve were able to make land-to-sea ballistic, not cruise, missiles that may hit any ship or vessel from 700 km,” Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ air space division, was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.
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Hajizadeh said the Guards centered on extending the land-to-sea missile’s range after Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei asked the military about ten years ago about the chance for “hitting ships” with ballistic projectiles. He didn’t give information on the previous selection of the missiles. In 2008, Iran displayed a ground-to-sea missile that it said could travel about 290 km. Monday on, the united states special envoy on Iran, Brian Hook, said that Tehran’s ballistic missile program was exacerbating tensions in Yemen, Syria and iraq. “We have been accumulating threat of regional conflict if we usually do not do more to deter Iran’s missile proliferation in the centre East,” Hook said.
The Islamic Republic’s government has eliminated negotiations with Washington over its military capabilities and dismissed US assertions that its activities in the centre East are destabilizing. Hajizadeh said some short-range Iranian missiles have been used in the last 2 yrs in Syria’s civil war, where Iranian forces have fought to get President Bashar Al-Assad against militants and rebels. He also said Iranian drones had completed 700 attacks on Islamic State militant positions in Syria. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have sent weapons and a large number of soldiers to Syria to greatly help shore up Assad through the a lot more than seven-year-long conflict there.
“Our bomber drones have completed 700 military operations using smart bombs against Daesh,” said Hajizadeh, utilizing the Arabic acronym for IS. “These were found in eliminating tanks, personnel carriers, cars useful for suicide attacks and 23-millimetre cannons – we were holding targets prized by Daesh and we turned the tide of battle significantly,” he added. The Guards lately used military drones against IS targets in Syria on Oct 1, in September on a military parade in Iran&rsquo in retaliation for a deadly attack; s claimed by the militant group southwest.
Separately, at the very least 11 Iranian security personnel, including Revolutionary Guards intelligence officers, yesterday were abducted on the southeastern border with Pakistan, state media reported. The Guards blamed “terrorist groups which are supported and guided by foreign forces” for the abductions and demanded action from Pakistan. State news agency IRNA said 14 troops were seized, while local media along with other sources gave the real number as 11.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry said both countries were coordinating efforts to “ascertain the whereabouts of the Iranian guards”. “No effort will be spared to aid our Iranian brothers to find the Iranian guards,” it said in a statement. The Iranians &ldquo were;abducted between 4:00 am and 5:00 am in the Lulakdan section of the border by way of a terrorist group”, in accordance with IRNA. Lulakdan is really a village 150 km southeast of Zahedan, capital of Sistan-Baluchistan province which includes seen a long-running separatist insurgency.
The Revolutionary Guards, in a statement on the website, said operations were to get those responsible and called on Pakistan &ldquo underway;to stamp out terrorists which are stationed close to the border”. The combined group kidnapped was involved with “a security operation” and included two members of the elite Revolutionary Guards intelligence unit and seven Basij militiamen along with regular border guards, said the Young Journalists’ Club (YJC), a state-owned news website, within an article that has been deleted.
Pakistani security officials told AFP that they had been informed of the abduction by Iran. “We have been in touch with local tribal people and so are looking at it in order that we are able to take timely action because of their recovery,” said a senior security official located in Quetta. Sistan-Baluchistan is a flashpoint long, with Pakistan-based Baluchi jihadists and separatists undertaking regular cross-border raids against Iranian security posts. The province includes a large, sunni Muslim ethnic Baluchi community which straddles the border mainly. – Agencies