The elite Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) vowed on Thursday to continue accelerating its ballistic missile program even though the U.S. and Europe are pressuring Tehran to suspend it.
The pledge comes after President Donald Trump this week disavowed Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal Tehran struck with the Obama administration and other European parties while more aggressively taking on the Islamic republic over its missile programs.
“Iran’s ballistic missile programme will expand and it will continue with more speed in reaction to Trump’s hostile approach towards this revolutionary organization (the Guards),” the IRGC said in a statement published by Tasnim, a Turkish news service.
The Trump White House imposed new unilateral sanctions on Iran aimed at slowing down its missile development program. Washington has called on Tehran to stop developing ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons but Iran has vowed to continue the development nonetheless.
“Trump’s anxiety and trembling voice in his speech was a sign of the beginning of the era of failure for America’s hegemony,” Tasnim quoted IRGC chief commander Mohammad Ali Jafari as saying. “Boosting Iran’s defense power remains our top priority.”
Iran has one of the most advanced ballistic missile programs in the Middle East.
Analyst comment: Like North Korea, Iran is attempting to develop an offensive and defensive military capability that will give the great powers (and in Iran’s case, Israel) pause before resorting to military action in order to pursue their own national interests. Like Pyongyang, Tehran won’t voluntarily end its missile and weapons development, making conflict more likely down the road.
Why it’s on our radar: Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 4: What are the latest indicators of a new Middle East war? Each week in our Strategic Intelligence Summary, we gauge the likelihood and scope of conflict with Russia, China, North Korea, and in the Middle East, and track the latest developments in each region. Subscribe here to receive our premium intelligence products prepared by Intelligence and special operations veterans.