It was a Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last Saturday condemned Iran for testing, DEBKAfile reveals. Our military sources have discovered that this multi-headed missile, which he said could strike “anywhere in the Middle East and even parts of Europe,” had been test-launched the day before on Friday, Nov. 30, from a site in southeasterm Iran and struck all its preset targets. Our sources identify this weapon as an advanced version of the Khorramshahr ballistic missile with a range of 1,800-2,000 km. It can carry multiple conventional or nuclear warheads. Iran was known to be working on a ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
In his condemnation on Saturday, Pompeo called on Iran to halt these tests since the development of this ballistic missile was in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231. His answer came the next day from Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasem: “Iran’s missile program is defense in nature. There is no Security Council resolution prohibiting the missile program and missile tests by Iran.”
Early Monday, Dec. 3, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu flew to Brussels for an urgent meeting with the US Secretary of State on this development. He was accompanied by the Mossad director and national security adviser.
The Khorramshahr was first developed by Iran from the North Korean Hwasong-10 medium range ballistic missile. It was first tested nearly two years ago and shown in a military parade in Tehran on Sept. 22, 2017.
The test on Friday of its most advanced version was intended as a warning of consequences to the US and Israel in the Middle East, should the Islamic Republic or its proxies suffer attack or Tehran succumb to sanctions with economic or political breakdown.
The testing of a ballistic missile carrying multiple warheads introduces a new, ramped up strategic dimension to the contest in which the US, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are engaged. It occurred by chance the day after Israel was reported to have conducted a massive surface missile attack on Iranian and pro-Iranian military facilities in Syria. DEBKAfile revealed (from foreign sources) that Israel fired the LORA medium-range artillery missile which has a range of 500km. They now report that Iran, Hizballah and the pro-Iranian militias fighting in Syria suffered dozens of casualties including 30 dead.
Although the Israeli attack and Iran’s Khorramshahr test occurred by chance in the space of 48 hours, this very concatenation bespeaks a change of weapons in Israeli-Iranian contest – the emphasis shifting from aerial combat to new and highly sophisticated ballistic missiles.