Iran tests Medium-Range Missile: US Official

United States military official reported Iran test-launched Shahab-3, a Medium-Range Ballistic Missile inside its borders. Missile was launched from southern coast of Iran and landed east of Tehran. It flew about 1,100 km, however did not pose threat to U.S. or other Western military or shipping bases in region.

Key Highlights

Tensions in Iran & West: The test came amid heightened tensions between Iran and West, mainly over safety of commercial shipping in Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz. The missile test also defies demand by US President Donald Trump administration that Iran must curtail its weapon program and rather demonstrates its intent to further push back against U.S. sanctions.

Calculated move by Iran: Despite US’s effort to minimise strategic importance of launch, it appears to be a political statement by Iran, acting both as a carefully calibrated effort at escalation and also as a message to Europe.

UNSC Resolution: Missile launches are not forbidden under 2015 Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). This has been is one of President Donald Trump’s complaints about JCPAO agreement which his administration abandoned in 2018. However a United Nation Security Council (UNSC) resolution, passed just as the nuclear agreement was reached in 2015, says that- Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, this includes launches using such ballistic missile technology.

About Shahab-3

It is a liquid-fueled, medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear weapon. It is backbone of Iran’s class of medium-range missiles. It is derived from a North Korean missile called Nodong-A.

Iranian news outlets previously called Shahab-3 as one of country’s Israel-hitting missiles.

Range:  It can fly 1150-2000 kilometers, or even upto 1,242 miles, depending on variant.

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