Iran warns it will upgrade missiles so they can hit cities in Europe if threatened

France calls for 'uncompromising' dialogue about Tehran's ballistic missile programme

Samuel Osborne
Sunday 26 November 2017 12:55 GMT
The country’s Revolutionary Guard insists range limitations on weapons are ‘not due to lack of technology’
The country’s Revolutionary Guard insists range limitations on weapons are ‘not due to lack of technology’ (Getty)

Iran has threatened to increase the range of its missiles so they could hit Europe.

The deputy head of the country’s Revolutionary Guard warned if Europe threatens Tehran, it would increase the range of missiles to above 2,000km (1,250 miles).

“If we have kept the range of our missiles to 2,000 kilometres, it’s not due to lack of technology ... We are following a strategic doctrine,” Brigadier General Hossein Salami said, according to the Fars news agency.

“So far we have felt that Europe is not a threat, so we did not increase the range of our missiles. But if Europe wants to turn into a threat, we will increase the range of our missiles,” he added.

France has called for an “uncompromising” dialogue with Iran about its ballistic missile programme and a possible negotiation over the issue separate from Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Tom Tugendhat condemns government for 'lack of policy' on Iran

Last month, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards military force, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said Iran’s 2,000-kilometre missile range could cover “most of American interest and forces” within the region, so Iran did not need to extend it.

Mr Jafari said the ballistic missile range was based on the limits set by the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is the head of armed forces.

Iran has one of the Middle East’s largest missile programmes and some of its precision-guided missiles have the range to strike Israel.

The US has imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran. Washington maintains missile tests violate a UN resolution calling on Tehran to refrain from activities related to missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

The US says Iran’s missile programme is a breach of international law because the missiles could carry nuclear warheads in the future.

Iran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons and says its nuclear programme is for civilian uses only.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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