As tensions mount between the US and Iran over upcoming sanctions against the latter, the Iranian military today announced that it had successfully developed land-to-sea ballistic missiles with a range of 700 kilometers. This is a marked increase in their missile capabilities that in 2008 had displayed a ground-to-sea missile that had a range of 280 kilometers. The country had earlier said that this technology has been developed purely for defense. Later, it said that any attempts to curb its oil exports by the US would see them target vessels traveling through the Strait of Hormuz in the Arabian Sea to disrupt oil shipments coming from this part of the Middle East.
US President Donald Trump had pulled out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program earlier this year, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and there was the additional move that included Iran as one of three countries that the US had targeted for sanctions under its Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
Head of the Air Space Division of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Amirali Hajizadeh, has said, “We have managed to make land-to-sea ballistic, not cruise, missiles that can hit any vessel or ship from 700 km.” In contrast, Brian Hook, the US special envoy on Iran was quoted as saying, “We are accumulating risk of regional conflict if we do not do more to deter Iran’s missile proliferation in the Middle East.” As tensions mount, the date for the implementation of sanctions aimed at limiting the supply of Iranian crude oil to anywhere else in the world, November 4, 2018, gets closer still.