As Congress Mulls Deal, Iran Prepares Ballistic Missile Drills

In the wake of the ratification of the JCPOA, UN Resolution 2231, Iran is reported to be planning on testing ballistic missiles in western and eastern parts of the country.

Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan said that “specialized missile drilling” will take place, as a response to an “increasing number of Iranians demanding the country’s Armed Forces to stage a ballistic missile drills” to reinforce Iran’s interpretation of Resolution 2231, The Tower reported.

An annex of Resolution 2231 states that “Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology” for the next eight years.

However, Iran has rejected this addendum, arguing that their ballistic missiles do not currently have the capacity to be deemed nuclear weapons delivery systems, and thus do not meet the criteria of the missiles called into question in the UN resolution.

“Iran says it has not accepted or endorsed the annex, adding that none of its ballistic missiles has been designed to carry nuclear payloads, and thus, its ballistic missile program is no way related to the paragraph,” according to Fars news agency.

The Iranian administration has publically announced that its ballistic missile program will not be deterred by the deal, specifically noting that their missile development will be “untouched and unrestricted” by the resolution, The Tower reported. Despite being subject to UN pressure for years, Iran is unwavering in pursuing its missile program, and refuses to adhere to any implemented restrictions.

Secretary of State John Kerry said this week that “snap back” sanctions would not be possible in the event that Iran were to transgress the terms of the agreement.