In Iranian strike on IS, the missile is the message

Amir Toumaj
19th June 2017 - Quoted by Judah Ari Gross - The Times of Israel

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), a hard-line paramilitary force, said in a statement following the strike that “many terrorists” were killed in the attack. But the Guard was also unequivocal that its audience extended beyond the Islamic State.

“The Saudis and Americans are especially receivers of this message,” Gen. Ramazan Sharif of the Guard told state television.

According to Amir Toumaj, a Tehran-born researcher at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Israel was a “secondary audience” for that message.

Saudi Arabia, the United States and Israel are regularly lumped together by the Iranian regime and accused of “conspiring against it,” he told The Times of Israel in an email.

Iran blamed the Islamic State attacks on the kingdom directly, with its Foreign Minister Javad Zarif saying that a recent threat by the Saudi defense minister to take the “battle” to Iran was proof that it had colluded with the terror group, according to Toumaj.

Following the twin attacks in Tehran on June 7, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei also “echoed the propaganda that the US created ISIS,” Toumaj said, using another abbreviation for the Islamic State.

...

Toumaj agreed with Landau’s assessment that Sunday’s strikes on the Islamic State were meant to give Iran’s ballistic missile program legitimacy, but added that there was also a practical purpose for the strikes: testing.

According to the Iranian Fars news, the IRGC used both the Qiam 1 and Zulfiqar varieties of missiles in the attack. Though this has not been independently verified. The Iranians also initially claimed that only the Zulfiqar model has been used.

The Qiam is a bit older, going through its testing in 2010. It is similar to the older Shahab-3 ballistic missile, but does not have stabilizing fins, which is meant to make it more difficult to intercept.

The Zulfiqar is a solid-fueled ballistic missile that reportedly can reach 700 to 750 kilometers (434 to 466 miles) and is claimed to be accurate within 5 to 10 meters (16 to 32 feet), according to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. It is a variant of the Fateh-110 missile series — one of the missile varieties that Israel’s David’s Sling interceptor battery is meant to combat.

The Zulfiqar was only debuted in September. So the attack on the Islamic State was an opportunity for Iran to test the system, Toumaj said, noting that the regime has cut down on its ballistic missile tests since Trump took office.

...

Read more here.

Tags

iran, iran-missiles