Photo by Vahid Reza Alaei/AFP/Getty Images.
Iran began testing missiles Monday that can travel as far as Israel or Southern Europe, reports the Wall Street Journal. Iran announced Sunday it would fire test missiles during three-day war games in the country’s desert, as reported by the semiofficial Mehr News Agency.
This week’s drills will include more than 100 firings of domestically designed ballistic missiles that have been mass produced for the event. Plans also include bomber drones and aircrafts. The missiles are set to hit targets made to look like the air ibases in the region.
While announcing the missile tests, Revolutionary Guards Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh said they should be seen as a message that Iran is ready to "respond to any possible evil decisively and strongly." If Israel decides to "take any action, they will hand us an excuse to wipe them off the face of the Earth," he added, according to Reuters.
Iranian military officials have called their missile system more powerful and more advanced than the original system Russia had planned to deliver to Iran, according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti. This system was never delivered because the Russian president allegedly canceled the contract in line with a United Nations resolution in 2010.
Although Iran has consistently declared its nuclear program exclusively for peaceful and civilian energy purposes, it has also consistently refused to stop producing enriched uranium, notes CNN. The latest United Nations report on Tehran states there is reason to believe the country is working toward obtaining nuclear weapons, including carrying out tests of potential bomb parts.