Iran flexes its muscles with televised missile tests

The exercise involved the firing of missiles from sites across the country.
By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   March 8, 2016 at 12:08 PM

TEHRAN, March 8 (UPI) -- Iran staged a nationwide demonstration of its ballistic missile capability Tuesday, with televised large-scale missile drills.

Missiles were fired from silo-based launchers installed across the country in what the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps called a display of "full readiness to confront all kinds of threats."

It is unknown if any of the missiles fired Tuesday were capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, which would violate a United Nations resolution. In October 2015 Iran successfully tested an Emad long-range missile, angering U.S. politicians; Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan said at the time the missile was a conventional weapon incapable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Iranian officials reason that since Iran has no nuclear weapons, its missile program is merely a part of its defense capabilities. There is disagreement over whether an Emad missile could carry a nuclear warhead. State television Tuesday showed missiles fired from various locations, without identifying the sites. One video clip displayed a massive underground silo with a missile appearing to be a Qiam 1, a short-range, non-nuclear missile first tested in 2010.

The agreement between Iran and the United States, signed in 2015, obligates Iran to desist from testing missiles designed to carry nuclear weapons. The IRGC, on its website, said Tuesday the tests were to "demonstrate Iran's deterrent power and the Islamic republic's ability to confront any threat against the revolution, the state and sovereignty of the country, under the auspices of empathy and compassion."

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