Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) reportedly test-fired two ballistic missiles Wednesday, in defiance of the warnings from the United States that warned of new sanctions against the country. Iran claimed that the missiles were capable of reaching Israel.
The IRGC test-fired two Qadr missiles "with a range of 2000 km" from northern Iran. This missile has been developed to confront "the Zionist regime from a safe distance," Reuters cited ISNA agency quoting Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh.
"Israel is surrounded by Islamic countries and it will not last long in a war. It will collapse even before being hit by these missiles," Associated Press quoted Hajizadeh as saying. He said that Iran would not use the missiles to start a war with Israel.
"We will not be the ones who start a war, but we will not be taken by surprise, so we put our facilities somewhere that our enemies cannot destroy them so that we could continue long war," he added.
According to AP, a phrase â€” "Israel must be wiped out" â€” was written on the missiles that were launched Wednesday. There was no immediate response from Israel on the latest development.
The missile tests come two months after the U.S. and European Union lifted the economic and oil sanctions imposed on Iran over three decades ago after Tehran followed through on all the terms of a nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), set by world powers in July last year.
The United Nations Security Council also adopted resolution 2231 against Iran, prohibiting the country from developing missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
In January, the U.S imposed new sanctions on individuals and entities in Iran who are involved in the ballistic missile programme, for test-firing long-range ballistic surface-to-surface missile in October last year.