The Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, stated during the National Conference on Space Technology and Its Application on January 29, 2019, that Iran has neither an operational nor a technological limitation on increasing the range of the missiles that it has in its possession. However, in accordance with its defense doctrine, it is diligently investing in the improvement of the accuracy of these missiles. He added that at this stage, Iran does not intend increasing the range of the missiles in its possession.1 The conference is being held at the University of Science and Technology.2
It is possible that Shamkhani’s statements regarding the range of the missiles were aimed at France, which recently demanded that Iran come to the negotiating table to discuss Iran’s long-term ballistic missiles program. Iran warned the government in Paris several days ago that if it insisted on holding these talks, Tehran would reevaluate its ties with France.
Accurate Missiles in the Hands of the Palestinian “Resistance” Organizations and Hizbullah
Accurate missiles are in the strong hands of the resistance fighters in Gaza (Hamas and the Islamic Jihad) and in Lebanon (Hizbullah), and they are prepared to fire them at Israel if it does anything stupid. Missile raids can make their lives Hell.
Recently, apparently at the behest of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iranian senior Revolutionary Guard officials hinted that Iran might change its military orientation from a defensive stance to an offensive one.
Mohammed Ali Jafari, commander of the Revolutionary Guard, warned Israel not “to play with the lion’s tail,” explaining that “Iran’s revolutionary patience” is about to run out in the near future. He called upon Israel to be afraid of the day when “Iran’s roaring missiles with pinpoint accuracy will rain on you in revenge for the blood of the region’s oppressed Muslims shed unjustifiably.” He stated that there is a reason behind Iran’s patience (until now) with Israel’s “desperate measures.”3 In response to Jafari’s statements, the news agency Fars, which identifies with the Revolutionary Guard, published a caricature quoting Jafari.4
Hossein Salami, second-in-command of the Revolutionary Guard, responding to threats by the Israeli prime minister, threatened:
Our strategy is the destruction of Israel from the political geography of the world, and it would seem that the acts of wickedness that Israel is currently performing will bring it closer… We declare that if Israel does anything that will cause the outbreak of a new war, this war will surely end in its destruction and the occupied lands will be liberated from the occupation, and there will not even be enough land in Palestine to bury their bodies.5
No Connection between Space and Missile Programs
Shamkhani also said that the media attention that the West and Israel have created around the Iranian space program and the attempt to link it to Iran’s missile program is intended to divert public opinion from the facts. In this context, he again gave details of the civilian uses of the Iranian space program, including in the fields of afforestation, weather, desertification, and more. Shamkhani said on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution that the main and most important achievements in space were accomplished since the Revolution.
On January 15, 2019, Iran suffered an embarrassing missile failure when a Safir rocket failed to launch a Payam (“Message”) satellite into orbit. Just prior to the launch, on January 11, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that Iran’s space vehicles are actually a cover for the development of long-range, nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.
Iran: Israeli Gonen Segev Was an Iranian Spy
For the first time, Shamkhani referred to the affair of former Israeli government minister Gonen Segev, calling him “the Israeli cabinet minister who became a source of intelligence information [for Iran] at a time when the corruption episodes are about to strangle the Israeli prime minister, and when the Israeli cabinet ministers become the source for (transmitting) information (for Iran), and at a time when hundreds of kilometers of tunnels are being dug under Netanyahu’s feet. He is making too much noise, and he even still claims that his government enjoys intelligence superiority.”
Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s minister of intelligence, referred to the Minister Segev affair several months ago indirectly, but this is the first time that one of Iran’s most senior military officials mentioned the former minister as being a source for transferring information to Iran.
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