Iran unveiled two new missiles and an underground missile factory during celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution. On February 2, Defense Minister Amir Hatami presented the Hoveizeh surface-to-surface missile, an addition to the Soumar family of cruise missiles with a range of 810 miles, according to state television. On February 7, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Mohammed Ali Jafari unveiled the Dezful surface-to-surface missile, part of the Zolfaghar missile family with a reported range of 621 miles. Jafari also announced the establishment of an underground facility for mass production of precision missiles.
European countries voiced “grave concern” about Iran’s ballistic missile activities in a statement on Iran-related issues after an E.U. Council meeting on February 2. “We must restore tougher international restrictions to deter Iran’s missile program,” tweeted Secretary of State Pompeo on February 8. He and other U.S. officials have argued that Tehran is in violation of U.N. Security Resolution 2231, which “called upon” it to refrain from work on ballistic missiles. Iranian civilian and military leaders have reiterated that Iran’s missile program is a necessary deterrent and non-negotiable. The following are remarks on the new missiles and facility.
IRGC Commander Major General Mohammed Ali Jafari
“Unveiling this missile production city deep underground is an answer to the idle talk made by the Westerners, who assume they can restrict us and dissuade us from (pursuing) our long-term goals by means of threats and sanctions.”
“Today, the mass production of advanced precision and smart missiles became a reality within the IRGC’s aerospace force.”
“Iran’s defensive capability is deterrent (in nature) and in line with preserving its national security, and it cannot be subjected to any transaction or negotiation.”
“Today, the Europeans are talking of imposing restrictions and sanctions on our defensive capability, while egregiously, their offensive capability is being used to attack the oppressed and innocent people throughout the world. But, we proudly enhance our defensive capability and are not afraid of anything.”
—Feb. 7, 2019, in a speech delivered at the new missile production plant’s unveiling ceremony
As announced before, Iran’s defense activities are only defensive, deterrent and home-grown, and this issue has never been included in the agenda of our talks with other countries. We firmly believe that raising such issues is not constructive and useful and not in line with the security interests of the region and real interests of Europe, considering the current circumstances in the region and clear threats against Iran’s national security.
—Feb. 5, 2019, in a statement
IRGC Deputy Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami
“If the Europeans and others want to pursue the missile disarmament of the Islamic Republic of Iran based on a plot, we will have no option but to resort to a strategic leap.”
“Our defense strategy can change commensurate with the conditions and changes in the behavior of role-players.”
—Feb. 3, 2019, in remarks to state television
Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani
“Iran's [ballistic missile] capability is a great capacity that should be taken into account. Regarding the nuclear issue, Iran did not rely on anyone, stood on its own feet and could make progress despite all problems created for Iran. We are using our own capacities and are not dependent on anyone as we have tasted the poison of dependence under the former regime.”
—Feb. 2, 2019, in remarks at the unveiling ceremony of the Hoveizeh cruise missile during the Ten Days of Dawn anniversary celebrations
Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Baqeri
“Of course, we do not have any greedy eyes on other countries' interests and soil but it is possible that we adopt an offensive approach to protect our interests to make foreigners keep thoughts of aggression against our country's interests away even from their minds by witnessing impacts.”
—Jan. 27, 2019, in a speech delivered in Tehran
Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami
“With a range of more than 1,300 kilometers… this [Hoveizeh] cruise missile needs a very short time for its preparedness and can fly at low altitude.”
"Hoveizeh ground-to-ground cruise missile has been test-fired in a 1,200-km range and it managed to precisely hit the specified target."
—Feb. 2, 2019, in remarks at the unveiling ceremony of the Hoveizeh cruise missile during the Ten Days of Dawn celebrations
Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami
“If the enemies were thinking of the slightest attack on this Islamic Establishment, the missiles would fall down on their heads like a thunderbolt.”
—Feb. 8, 2019, in a sermon delivered at Friday prayers in Tehran
IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh
"The missile power is not negotiable. This deterrence power has been created for the country and we do not hold talks about it with anyone at all."
—Feb. 5, 2019, in a speech delivered in Tehran
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Iran’s latest missile launch again proves the Iran deal is doing nothing to stop Iran’s missile program. Iran is defying the UN Security Council as it advances its ballistic missile capabilities. We must restore tougher international restrictions to deter Iran’s missile program.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 8, 2019
Council of the European Union Statement
“The Council is also gravely concerned by Iran's ballistic missile activity and calls upon Iran to refrain from these activities, in particular ballistic missile launches that are inconsistent with UN Security Council resolution 2231. Iran continues to undertake efforts to increase the range and precision of its missiles, together with increasing the number of tests and operational launches. These activities deepen mistrust and contribute to regional instability. The Council calls on Iran to take all the necessary measures to fully respect all relevant UN Security Council resolutions related to the transfer of missiles and relevant material and technology to state and non state actors in the region. In a broader context, the Council also recalls its longstanding serious concern at the regional military build-up.”
—Feb. 2, 2019, in a statement following a meeting of E.U. foreign ministers in Brussels
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders
“The most important thing is to show our American colleagues that we are moving in the same direction on a whole series of issues, such as ballistic missiles or Iran’s regional influence, but that we do have a difference of opinion on the nuclear agreement. I hope we can also find a solution.”
—Jan. 31, 2019, remarks to the press after an E.U. foreign ministers meeting in Bucharest