Iran fires 2 missiles marked with 'Israel must be wiped out'

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran reportedly test-fired two ballistic missiles Wednesday with the phrase "Israel must be wiped out" written in Hebrew on them, a show of force by the Islamic Republic as U.S.

See Full Article

Vice-President Joe Biden visited Israel.

Such phrases have been emblazoned on Iranian missiles before, but this test comes shortly after the implementation of a nuclear deal with world powers, including the U.S., and follows similar drills in recent days.

Hard-liners in Iran's military have fired rockets and missiles despite U.S. objections since the deal, as well as shown underground missile bases on state television.

There was no immediate reaction from Jerusalem, where Biden was meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who strongly opposed the nuclear deal.

Biden, speaking next to Netanyahu, did not acknowledge the missile launch directly but he issued a strong warning to the Iranians.

"A nuclear-armed Iran is an absolutely unacceptable threat to Israel, to the region and the United States. And I want to reiterate which I know people still doubt here. If in fact they break the deal, we will act," he said.

The semiofficial Fars news agency offered pictures Wednesday it said were of the Qadr H missiles being fired. It said they were fired in Iran's eastern Alborz mountain range to hit a target some 1,400 kilometres away off Iran's coast into the Sea of Oman. The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, which patrols that region, declined to comment on the test.

Soldiers often write slogans or messages on rockets and missiles. During Israel's 2006 war with Lebanon's Hezbollah militants, Israeli children were photographed writing messages on artillery shells in a community near the border. More recently, pictures emerged online of U.S. missiles bound for Islamic State group targets that had "From Paris with love" written on them, referring to last year's attacks.

Fars quoted Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guard's aerospace division, as saying the test was aimed at showing Israel that Iran could hit it.

"The 2,000-kilometre range of our missiles is to confront the Zionist regime," Hajizadeh said. "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."

Israel's Foreign Ministry declined to immediately comment. Iran has threatened to destroy Israel in the past. Israel, which is believed to have the only nuclear arsenal in the Mideast, repeatedly has threatened to take military action against Iran's nuclear facilities.

Hajizadeh stressed that Iran would not fire the missiles in anger or 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 in a long war," he said.

The firing of the Qadr H missiles comes after a U.S. State Department spokesman on Tuesday criticized another missile launch, saying Washington planned to bring it before the United Nations Security Council.

A nuclear deal between Iran and world powers including the U.S. is now underway, negotiated by the administration of moderate President Hassan Rouhani. In the time since the deal, however, hard-liners in Iran's military have made several shows of strength.

In October, Iran successfully test-fired a new guided long-range ballistic surface-to-surface missile. It was the first such test since Iran and world powers reached the landmark deal last summer.

UN experts said the launch used ballistic missile technology banned under a Security Council resolution. In January, the U.S. imposed new sanctions on individuals and entities linked to the ballistic missile program.

Iran also has fired rockets near U.S. warships and flown an unarmed drone over an American aircraft carrier in recent months.

In January, Iran seized 10 U.S. sailors in the Gulf when their two riverine command boats headed from Kuwait to Bahrain ended up in Iranian territorial waters after the crews "misnavigated," the U.S. military said. The sailors were taken to a small port facility on Farsi Island, held for about 15 hours and released after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke several times with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Associated Press writers Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Aron Heller and Daniel Estrin in Jerusalem, and Joseph Krauss in Cairo contributed to this report



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Philippine forces make gains in city under siege

    World News CBC News
    Philippine forces now control most of a southern city where militants linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group launched a bloody siege nearly a week ago, authorities said Monday. Only small areas of Marawi are under militants' control after six days of fighting, said Brig. Source
  • Medical journal calls for tighter rules on legal pot to protect youth

    Canada News CBC News
    Marijuana legalization will harm the health of youth unless major changes to the proposed law are made to protect their developing brains, a medical journal editorial says. Dr. Diane Kelsall, interim editor in chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, says Bill C-45 fails to safeguard vulnerable youth. Source
  • 4 hostages kidnapped from Canadian mining company in Congo are released

    World News CBC News
    A French man and three Congolese men have been released after being kidnapped in March from a Canadian mining company in eastern Congo in March, Congo's government said Sunday. They were among five workers, including a Tanzanian who had been kidnapped from the Namoya gold mine operated by Canadian company Banro Mining Corp. Source
  • Indigenous man says he was wrongly accused of being drunk, kicked off Greyhound bus

    Canada News CTV News
    An indigenous Manitoba man says he was forced to spend a frigid night wandering along the side of a highway after a Greyhound bus driver accused him of being intoxicated and left him stranded at a gas station. Source
  • N.S. leaders hitting ridings expected to be competitive in Tuesday's vote

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia's three major party leaders lobbied for every possible vote Sunday, targeting ridings that are expected to be highly competitive in Tuesday's provincial election. NDP Leader Gary Burrill visited a community food centre in the riding of Dartmouth-North, where candidate Susan Leblanc is expected to mount a stiff challenge to incumbent Liberal cabinet minister Joanne Bernard. Source
  • North Korea fires apparent ballistic missile: South Korea military

    World News Toronto Sun
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that landed in Japan’s maritime economic zone Monday, officials said, the latest in a string of test launches as the North seeks to build nuclear-tipped ICBMs that can reach the U.S. Source
  • Trump eyes White House overhaul, outside lawyers and PR team

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump is considering overhauling his White House staff and bringing back top campaign strategists, frustrated by what he views as his team's inability to contain the burgeoning crisis involving alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Source
  • New Westminster schools to have counsellors on hand after student dies of overdose

    Canada News CBC News
    The New Westminster School District in British Columbia says it will have extra staff and counsellors at schools to help students cope with news that a student died of an overdose and another is in hospital. Source
  • PM, Scheer talk Parliament, trade in first call after Conservative race [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — New Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s victory speech was peppered with attacks on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. But on Sunday, the two spoke by phone in the aftermath of Scheer’s win, one that now also makes him the official Opposition leader in the House of Commons. Source
  • Trump eyes White House staff overhaul [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is considering overhauling his White House staff and bringing back top campaign strategists, frustrated by what he views as his team’s inability to contain the burgeoning crisis involving alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Source