On Wednesday Iran launched a Shahab-3 medium-range missile. The Pentagon spokesman told that the launch did not threaten the security of US ships or military bases located in the Middle East, as well as the ships of US allies.
The launch was carried out in southern Iran, the rocket fell east of Tehran. The rocket flew a distance of about 1,100 km and did not go beyond the Iranian territory.
The US military is said to closely watch the testing ground where the Iranians launch the rockets.
This launch can be considered as a political statement from Tehran, a carefully verified attempt to escalate the situation and a message to Europe.
Although the 2015 nuclear deal does not prohibit Iran from missile launches, the UN Security Council resolution adopted after a nuclear agreement calls on Iran not to launch ballistic missiles that can potentially be equipped with nuclear warheads.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier required Iran to stop all rocket launches and trials and eliminate all relevant weapons. They responded they did not have to do this. Moreover, the Iranian authorities recalled that the missile launched on Wednesday was not equipped with a nuclear warhead and, therefore, was not subject under the UN Security Council resolution.
Shahab-3 has been in service to the Iranian army for two decades. The base model of the rocket, created on the basis of the North Korean NoDong, can fly about 1000 km. There are several other modifications of “Shahab-3” with a large radius of action. These missiles are able to fly to the borders of Europe and hit the military bases of Israel and the U.S. in the Middle East.
Nevertheless, a number of Israeli and Western experts say that the rocket is easily equipped with a nuclear warhead. The test may also be a desire to show the Americans that Tehran continues to develop its missile program despite sanctions and bans.
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website