Iranian IRGC Missile Unit Commanders: We’ve Developed 2,000-km Range Missiles And Equipped Hizbullah With 300-km Range Missiles; Fars News Agency: Israel’s Illusions About Its Natural Gas Fields Will Be Buried In The Mediterranean
Two weeks before November 24, 2014, the end date of the Joint Plan of Action between Iran and the P5+1, websites close to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) began reporting about the capabilities of the IRGC missile unit, and in particular about this unit’s capability to strike and destroy Israel. At the same time, there has been a marked increase in threats by IRGC officials on behalf of Hizbullah about the latter’s readiness to strike any point in Israel. Furthermore, the IRGC-affiliated Fars news agency is touting the capability of Hizbullah’s Iranian missiles to damage Israel’s natural gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as Israeli naval vessels.
On November 24, IRGC commander Ali Jafari said at a conference at Shahid Modares University: “Today, the entire area of the occupied territories [Israel] is within range of the missiles of the resistance — meaning the fall of the Zionist regime. Of course, the matter does not end here, and certainly the final liberation [of Palestine] will come about.”
Also in November, the Iranian news agency Fars published statements by IRGC Aerospace Force and missile unit commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh and his deputy Majid Mousavi, both of whom claimed that the missile unit had been established in order to attack Israel. They said that Hizbullah is in possession of Iranian missiles with a range of 300 km, covering Israeli territory as far south as Dimona. Hajizadeh added that the IRGC and Hizbullah were a single apparatus.
Hajizadeh explained in detail the history of the establishment of the missile unit, which originally copied Libyan missile systems and was based on knowhow provided by North Korea, and that training for it had been carried out in Syria. He noted that it was Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who had demanded that Iranian missiles be precise to within 10 meters. He also underlined the IRGC’s advanced missile capability against naval vessels.
In addition, just prior to the November 24 deadline, on November 17, the IRGC-affiliated Tasnimnews.com posted a diagram showing the ranges of several Iranian missiles, up to 2,000 km, covering Greece, southern Italy, southeast Europe, Turkey, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Gulf states. The diagram emphasized the Iranian missile threat to Israel and to U.S. military bases in the region.
On November 26, two days after Iran and the P5+1 agreed to extend the Joint Plan of Action to June 2015, Tasnimnews posted links to video clips of the launch of 2000-km range Sejil ballistic missiles (download the clip from MEMRI.org here); of 1,350-km range Qadr F and Qadr H missiles (here) and of 1,350-km range Shahab 3 missiles; of 300-km range Hormuz 1 and 2 missiles (here), of 300-km range Zelzal missiles (here and here), of 300-km range Zelzal Raad 307 missiles (here); and of the simultaneous launch of several ballistic missiles (here).
This paper will review at length statements by IRGC officials on Iran’s missiles, on the missile unit, on the missile threat to Israel and to U.S. military bases in the region, and on the missile capabilities of Hizbullah and the Palestinian resistance, which are now armed with Iranian missile technology. It will also review statements by Hizbullah deputy secretary general Naim Qassem on Iran’s aid to Hizbullah to arm itself with missiles against Israel.