Iran to ‘increase’ missile range if threatened by Europe

Tehran: Iran will increase the range of its missiles to above 2,000 kilometres if Europe joins hands with the US and Israel and poses threat to Iran, a senior military commander has warned.

The warning comes after France’s move to amend the 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and six major world powers to include ballistic missile development. Iran insists its missile programme is defensive and non-negotiable.

Israel, France and the US have reason to worry as Iran’s Soumar missile can strike targets 3,000 kilometres away.

Brigadier General Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, told local Fars news agency that Iran is limiting its missile range to 2,000 km because of strategic compulsions and not lack of technology.

Iran’s ballistic missile range has limits set by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who heads the armed forces.

The United States is worried about growing tensions in the Arabian Gulf between Iran and Saudi Arabia over Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Bahrain. Saudi security forces had intercepted an ‘Iranian’ missile launched by Yemen’s Houthi fighters near Riyadh airport in July and described the incident as an act of war.

Salami wondered how the missile reached Houthi rebels when Yemen was facing total blockade.