Kerry Raises Concerns on Missile Tests With Iran Foreign Minister

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said the missiles tested on Wednesday were designed with Israel in mind.

2 min read
In this photo obtained from the Iranian Fars News Agency, a Qadr H long-range ballistic missile is fired by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in an undisclosed location in Iran (Photo: AP)

US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke on Wednesday with Iran’s foreign minister about Iran’s test-firing ballistic missiles that Tehran said were allegedly designed to hit Israel.

“The secretary did raise his concerns on Wednesday with Foreign Minister (Mohammad Javad) Zarif,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said the missiles tested on Wednesday were designed with Israel in mind.

“The reason we designed our missiles with a range of 2,000 km is to be able to hit our enemy the Zionist regime from a safe distance,” Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh was quoted as saying by the ISNA agency. The nearest point in Iran is around 1,000 km (600 miles) from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Hillary Calls for Sanctions

US Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on Wednesday called for sanctions against Iran after the Islamic Republic brushed off US concerns and test-fired two ballistic missiles that it said were designed to be able to hit Israel.

Iranian state television showed footage of two Qadr missiles being launched from northern Iran, which the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said hit targets 1,400 km (870 miles) away.

Iranian agencies said the missiles were stamped with the Hebrew words, “Israel should be wiped from the pages of history,” though the inscription could not be seen on any photographs.

Clinton, a former secretary of state under President Barack Obama, said she was “deeply concerned” by the tests, the second round of Iranian missile launches in two days.

Also Read: Iran Tests More Missiles, ‘Capable of Reaching Israel’

US Vice President Meets Netanyahu

US Vice President Joe Biden discussed Iran, the threat from Islamic State militants and the crisis in Syria in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
White House

Biden also discussed with Netanyahu ongoing violence and tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, the statement said. The meeting comes a day after an American was killed and 11 people were wounded in a stabbing attack by a Palestinian in Tel Aviv.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon told Israel Radio the tests showed Iran’s hostility had not changed since implementing a nuclear deal with world powers in January, despite Rouhani’s overtures to the West.

To my regret there are some in the West who are misled by the honeyed words of part of the Iranian leadership while the other part continues to procure equipment and weaponry, to arm terrorist groups.
Moshe Yaalon, Defense Minister, Israel

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