Iranian Official: Missiles Designed to Reach Israel

DUBAI (Reuters/AP) -
A ballistic missile is launched and tested in an undisclosed location, Iran, in this handout photo released by the official website of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on March 8, 2016. REUTERS/sepahnews.com/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.  NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.
A ballistic missile is launched and tested in an undisclosed location, Iran, in this photo released by the official site of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Tuesday. (Reuters/sepahnews.com)

Iran’s medium-range ballistic missiles are designed to be able to hit Israel, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ missile battery was quoted on Wednesday, as the Guards test-fired two missiles.

“The reason we designed our missiles with a range of 2000 km (1,200 miles) is to be able to hit our enemy, the Zionist regime, from a safe distance,” Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh was quoted by the ISNA agency as saying.

Another Iranian news agency is reporting that the missiles had the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” written on them.

The Fars news agency offered pictures Wednesday it said were of the Qadr H missiles which were launched.

The announcement of the rocket fire comes as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visits Israel during a Mideast tour. It also comes after a U.S. State Department spokesman on Tuesday criticized an earlier missile launch, saying America planned to bring the incident before the United Nations Security Council.

A nuclear deal between Iran and world powers including the U.S. is already underway. In the time since the deal was finalized, however, hard-liners in Iran’s military have made several shows of strength.