Israeli military has tested a system capable of carrying nuclear missiles as Tel Aviv media bill the alleged display as “a show of force aimed at Iran.”
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The test was carried out at Palmachim Airbase south of Tel Aviv on Friday, Israeli television channel i24 News reported.
The military “conducted a launch test a few minutes ago of a rocket motor system,” Israel’s Ministry for Military Affairs said in a statement, the channel said. “The test was scheduled in advance and was carried out as planned,” the statement added.
The involved system, it added, could be used to carry interceptor missiles, such as the Arrow 3, “or attack missiles like the Jericho 3, said to have a range of 2,000 kilometers, capable of carrying nuclear warheads.”
Footage aired by i24 showed a white trail shooting up across the sky over the greater Tel Aviv area after the alleged test, of which, the channel said, residents had not been “warned in advance.”
The reported test also disrupted the normal pattern of takeoffs and landings at Ben Gurion airport.
The television’s correspondent Jonathan Regev said the propulsion system could carry the projectiles it is fitted with “even above the atmosphere.”
Israel is the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, but its policy is to neither confirm nor deny having atomic arms.
Former US president Jimmy Carter and various high-profile newspaper and media reports have, however, verified the regime’s ownership of the non-conventional arms. Estimates show that the regime is currently in possession of 200 to 400 atomic warheads.
The regime is also believed to possess the capability to deliver its nuclear warheads in a number of methods, including by aircraft, on submarine-launched cruise missiles, and the Jericho series of intermediate to intercontinental range ballistic missiles.
The United States, Israel’s most dedicated and biggest ally, has invariably cast its veto against the United Nations’ measures seeking to hold the regime to account for its various grave actions, including its refusal to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
In November, both Washington and Tel Aviv avoided the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction’s first session at UN Headquarters in New York.
Speaking at the conference, Iran’s UN envoy Majid Takht-e Ravanchi called the duo the main obstacles to ridding the region of nuclear arms. "Their irresponsible policies and actions to proliferate WMD should not be acceptable to the international community," he added.
Later on Friday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reacted on Twitter to the report about the Israeli test.
“E3 (UK, France, and Germany) & US never complain about the only nuclear arsenal in West Asia—armed with missiles actually DESIGNED to be capable of carrying nukes,” he tweeted in reference to the Israeli regime.
Nevertheless, the foursome states have ”fits of apoplexy over our conventional & defensive ones,” Zarif added.
The quartet has continually sought to have the Islamic Republic attend talks over its defensive missile capability. Tehran, however, has roundly rejected any such prospect, asserting that its defensive might is beyond all negotiation.
The Islamic Republic has also avowed, on countless occasions, that its missile arsenal comprises projectiles that can reach the occupying entity, and that Tehran would not hesitate to deploy them in the event Tel Aviv perpetrated a blunder.