Iran Tests Medium-Range Ballistic Missile Capable of Multiple Warheads: Pompeo

December 1, 2018 Updated: December 1, 2018

Iran has test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple warheads, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on Saturday, Dec. 1.

“The missile has a range that allows it to strike parts of Europe and anywhere in the Middle East,” he said.

It’s unclear when and where Iran conducted the test.

Pompeo said Iran’s new missile testing violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

He condemned the test and called upon Iran to “cease immediately” all activities related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

“Iran’s missile testing and missile proliferation are growing. We are accumulating risk of escalation in the region if we fail to restore deterrence,” he warned.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington D.C., on Nov. 20, 2018. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

Pompeo’s statement came just days after a top Iranian general warned that U.S. military personnel and assets in the Middle East are within range of the country’s missiles.

On Nov. 21, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander claimed that American aircraft carriers in the Gulf and military bases in Qatar, Afghanistan, and the United Arab Emirates are within range of Iranian missiles.

“They are within our reach and we can hit them if they (Americans) make a move,” Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards’ airspace division, told a local state-run news outlet, according to Reuters. He described the American “bases around” Iran as “easy meat for us,” reported Iranian state-run mouthpiece Press TV.

Hajizadeh also claimed the Revolutionary Guard has improved the precision of its missiles, saying it could specifically hit the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, the Kandahar base in Afghanistan, and the Al Dhafra base in the United Arab Emirates.

Iranian forces launched missiles
In May 2018, Iranian forces launched missiles on Israeli army outposts in the Golan Heights from Syria. (Syria TV/Screenshot)

The comments came amid mounting tension between the United States and Iran.

President Trump pulled out of a 2015 deal on Iran’s nuclear program in May and recently restored sanctions that were lifted under the agreement, which was partially brokered by former President Barack Obama.

The Treasury Department said on Nov. 5 that the sanctions are the harshest “ever imposed on Iran, and will target critical sectors of Iran’s economy, such as the energy, shipping and shipbuilding, and financial sectors.”

Pompeo Defends US-Saudi Partnership

In a Nov. 28 op-ed, Pompeo defended the alliance with Saudi Arabia and warned that “degrading U.S.-Saudi ties would be a grave mistake for the national security of the U.S. and its allies.”

He cited the threat from Iran as one reason for the US-Saudi partnership.

“[Iran’s] objectives are to spread the Islamic revolution from Tehran to Damascus, to destroy Israel, and to subjugate anyone who refuses to submit, starting with the Iranian people. An emboldened Iran would spread even more death and destruction in the Middle East, spark a regional nuclear-arms race, threaten trade routes, and foment terrorism around the world,” Pompeo wrote.

Pompeo has also affirmed there’s no evidence of a direct link between the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

He made the statement during an interview with Wolf Blitzer of CNN.

“I have read every piece of intelligence that is in the possession of the United States government, and when it is done, when you complete that analysis, there’s no direct evidence linking him to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. That is an accurate statement, it is an important statement, and it is the statement that we are making publicly today,” he said.

Reuters contributed to this report.