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May 16, 2016

Iranian Military Admits Anti-Israel Missile Test

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Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran


A top member of Iran’s military has admitted that the Islamic Republic test fired a ballistic missile inscribed with a call to destroy Israel.

USA Today reported that “Brig. Gen. Ali Abdolahi, the Iranian military’s deputy chief of staff, told Iran’s Tasnim news agency that Iran fired the test missile two weeks ago and that it was accurate to within 25 feet, which he described as zero error (“Iran defense chief denies long-range missile test,” May 10, 2016).”

Abdolahi’s admission of the tests in mid-April follows another ballistic missile test which took place in March and involved two types of missiles, Qadr-H and Qadr-E, both of which were launched from the East Alborz Mountains in northern Iran. The tests violated a U.N. Security Council resolution, according to a confidential report made in March by the council’s panel of experts on Iran (“Exclusive: Iran missile tests were ‘in defiance of’ U.N. resolution—U.S., allies,” Reuters, March 30, 2016).

USA Today reported that Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan denied that a missile test “of that distance” (1,250 miles) took place in mid-April. Dehqan also claimed that the United States and Saudi Arabia are conducting a “propaganda campaign to make the world believe Iran’s missiles are not for defensive purposes.”

Yet, evidence suggest that missiles being developed by Iran have an offensive purpose.

Reporting the tests in March, USA Today noted that, “two months ago, Iran test-fired two ballistic missiles, one of them with the phrase ‘Israel should be wiped off the Earth’ written on it in Hebrew. Iranian officials say the phrase was added by workers on the ground and was not a decision made by higher-level officials.”

CAMERA has noted (“The Iranian Missile Photo That CNN Missed,” March 21, 2016) that images of the missiles “emblazoned with the anti-Israel graffiti” were broadcasted on Iranian state-sponsored TV in March. Despite this, CNN erroneously reported at the time that Iranian media had not published photographs of the inscribed missiles and that CNN “could not independently confirm” whether the missiles were launched with the genocidal language displayed.

Similarly, in its report on the March missile tests, The Washington Post claimed that “Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency reported that the missiles tested Wednesday were stamped with a message in Hebrew: ‘Israel must be wiped out.’ However, there was no confirmation of the report, and no such markings were seen in state-issued photos and video (“Biden: Iran under close watch amid reports of missile tests,” March 9).”

Iranian officials’ claims, reported in USA Today’s May 10 edition, that the Iranian-inscription threatening Israel was added by “workers on the ground,”—workers who live in a totalitarian dictatorship that harshly punishes unauthorized activities—seems unlikely. Nor do they explain why the images were featured on state media and not removed by authorities.

Servants of the Iranian regime, including those commonly referred to as “moderate” by Western press and policymakers, have shown a willingness to deceive when confronted with evidence of their country’s actions. As CAMERA pointed out (“Washington Post Editorial Notes Iranian ‘Moderates’ Mendacity on Holocaust,” May 12, 2016), Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, for example, obfuscated when asked by The New Yorker’s Robin Wright about his country sponsoring an international Holocaust denial cartoon contest.

Yet, many news media persist in distinguishing between “moderates” and “hard-liners.” USA Today’s report uncritically quoted an analyst for consulting firm IHS Country Risk, Firas Abi-Ali, who claimed “Iran’s government must pursue its missile program to appease hard-liners after striking a deal on its nuclear program with the West.”

The Observer, a New York-based publication, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Iran, in which sanctions relief to the latter was promised in exchange for concessions on its alleged illegal nuclear weapons program, recently editorialized:

“As soon as the deal was signed and previously frozen funds began to flow to the regime, the Iranians proceeded to behave as they have always behaved: they ramped up missile tests, denied inspectors access to sites supposedly covered by the agreement, seized American sailors on the high seas, and couldn’t find a buyer for the heavy they were required to dispose of. So they asked the U.S. to pay for it—rather than just destroy it (Deception on—Not Just in—Iran,” Observer, March 10, 2016).”

Mark Dubowitz, the Vice President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told The Observer that recent parliamentary elections in Iran were not a contest between moderates and hard-liners (see, for example “The Media and the Myth of the Moderate Mullahs,” CAMERA, March 2, 2016), but rather between “hardliner and hard-hardliners.”

With Iran developing more accurate and longer range missiles, the news media could, at the least, use more accurate categorizations.



Posted by SD at May 16, 2016 01:15 PM

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