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

  • Giant rabbit said to be 'fit as a fiddle' dies aboard United flight from London to Chicago

    World News Toronto Sun
    LONDON — United Airlines is investigating a report that a giant rabbit died on one of its trans-Atlantic flights. Distraught breeder Annette Edwards from Worcestershire in central England told The Associated Press by phone Wednesday that Simon, a 10-month-old, 3-foot (meter) -long continental rabbit, had a vet check shortly before travelling from London’s Heathrow airport to Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Source
  • Crane climber in Toronto rescued, arrested [Photos]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — Some streets in Toronto’s downtown core were closed early Wednesday as dozens of construction workers and commuters gazed skyward to watch police and firefighters try to rescue a woman who got stuck atop a tall construction crane during the night. Source
  • Questions persist in death of prominent New York judge

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- When Sheila Abdus-Salaam agreed to speak this month at an alumni gathering at Columbia Law School, it was business as usual for someone in demand as the first black woman to serve on New York's highest court. Source
  • Mounties suspect 2 government officials leaked classified shipbuilding information

    Canada News CBC News
    Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Mark Norman (left) speaks with Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd during a change of command ceremony, Thursday, June 23, 2016 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press) The RCMP are accusing the military's second-in-command of passing cabinet secrets to a Quebec shipping executive in a cozy relationship meant to advance a navy project he "personally" favoured, according to a newly unsealed search warrant. Source
  • 'Mistakes happen': How 'miscalculation' could spark a U.S.-North Korea conflict

    World News CBC News
    Despite heightened tensions, many experts say it's unlikely the U.S. and North Korea are headed toward imminent military conflict. While the leaders of both countries are impulsive and unpredictable, they are also desperate to avoid pre-emptive strikes. Source
  • Pie, tart shells from Edmonton bakery recalled nationally due to E. coli scare

    Canada News CBC News
    Various brands of pie and tart shells that were sold across Canada are being recalled due to E. coli fears. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the shells were produced by Edmonton-based Harlan Bakeries. The Deep Dish Pie Shells, Sweetened Tart Shells and Tart Shells are sold under the Great Value, Apple Valley, Western Family and No Name brands. Source
  • United investigates report that giant rabbit died on flight

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- United Airlines is investigating a report that a giant rabbit died on one of its trans-Atlantic flights. Distraught breeder Annette Edwards from Worcestershire in central England told The Associated Press by phone Wednesday that Simon, a 10-month-old, metre-long continental rabbit, had a vet check shortly before travelling from London's Heathrow airport to Chicago's O'Hare airport. Source
  • Death of giant rabbit adds to United Airlines woes

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- United Airlines is investigating the death of a giant rabbit on one its trans-Atlantic flights, adding to a growing list of customer complaints for the U.S. carrier. Distraught breeder Annette Edwards told The Associated Press by phone Wednesday that a veterinarian checked Simon, a 10-month-old, 3-foot (meter)-long continental rabbit, shortly before the animal was put on a flight from London's Heathrow airport to Chicago's O'Hare. Source
  • Five facts about the crane rescue operation in Toronto

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A rescue operation was conducted in downtown Toronto on Wednesday morning after a woman became stuck atop a pulley device swinging from a tall crane. Here are five things to know about the rescue. Source
  • 'Very, very great': Trump's speaking style still flummoxes linguists

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Campaign promises may have been reshaped and some self-imposed deadlines reset. But among the things kept intact in the opening months of the new administration is the unmistakably distinct style of U.S. Source