Iran Warns It will Upgrade Missiles to Hit Europe if It Feels Threatened

By James Burke
James Burke
James Burke
November 26, 2017 Updated: November 27, 2017

A top Iranian general has threatened that Iran will increase the range of its missiles so that they can hit Europe if Iran is threatened.

Brigadier General Hossein Salami — second in command of the country’s Revolutionary Guards — said Iran could increase the range of its missiles by more than 1,250 miles (2,000 km). That would be far enough to strike the European continent.

“If we have kept the range of our missiles to 2,000 kilometers, it’s not due to lack of technology — we are following a strategic doctrine,” said Salami, according to the Fars news agency on Nov. 25.

“So far we have felt that Europe is not a threat, so we did not increase the range of our missiles. But if Europe wants to turn into a threat, we will increase the range of our missiles,” he said.

Last month, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of the hard-line Revolutionary Guards, indicated why the Islamic republic did not need to extend the reach of their ballistic missiles. The country’s current 1,250 mile missile range was able to cover “most of American interest and forces” within the region, he said according to a Reuters report.

Jafari said the existing missile range limit was established by the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who is also the head of the military.

“Iran possesses the largest and most diverse missile arsenal in the Middle East, with thousands of short and medium-range ballistic and cruise missiles capable of striking as far as Israel and southeast Europe,” said the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington-based think-tank.

“Missiles have become a central tool of Iranian power projection and ant-access/area-denial capabilities in the face of U.S. and Gulf Cooperation Council naval and air power in the region,” it says.

Iran has said its missile program is purely for defensive motives and that it is non-negotiable. France recently called for ‘uncompromising’ dialogue with the Islamic republic about its program.

In July, the U.S. accused Iran of supplying Houthi rebels in Yemen with a missile that was fired at its arch rival Saudi Arabia. See some footage of that incident taken by Saudi citizens below.

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James Burke