In a rare move, the Iranian Shiite regime issued threats against Europe in response to France calling for “uncompromising” dialogue with the Islamic Republic regarding its ballistic missile program.
France maintains it is entirely committed to the nuclear deal negotiated between Iran and world powers in 2015. However, in an interview earlier this month, French President Emmanuel Macron said, “It is important to remain firm with Iran over its regional activities and ballistics program.”
Iran rejects any attempt to curb the development of its ballistic missiles, which are the primary way nuclear weapons are delivered.
“If we have kept the range of our missiles to 2,000 kilometers, it’s not due to lack of technology…We are following a strategic doctrine,” said Brig.-Gen. Hossein Salami, head of the Revolutionary Guards, yesterday Nov.25, 2017.
“So far we have felt that Europe is not a threat, so we did not increase the range of our missiles. But if Europe wants to turn into a threat, we will increase the range of our missiles,” he added.
Last month, Iran tacitly acknowledged that its missile range was 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles).
Ali Jafari, a commander of the Revolutionary Guards, stated in October of 2017, “Our missiles’ range is 2,000 kilometers, and that can be increased, but we believe this range is enough for the Islamic Republic as most of the U.S. forces and most of their interests in the region are within this range.”
However, in August of 2016, General Hossein Dehqan, Iran’s defense minister, announced the Islamic Republic had “no limit for the range” of the ballistic missiles it is developing.
Meanwhile, Islamic State (ISIS), which comprises Sunni extremists, issued its own threats against Europe, sharing messages on encrypted apps saying “soon your holidays,” accompanied by images of the Eiffel Tower and London’s Regent Street.
The messages portend terrorist attacks in these European capitals at Christmas time. Just last week, six Syrians who were suspected of planning an attack on a Christmas market were arrested in Germany.
In addition, ISIS ordered its followers to pose as refugees, sneak into Rome and mount an attack on the Italian capital. In one of its latest propaganda videos, the jihadis call for “lone wolf” attacks at busy tourist attractions. One image depicted a terrorist with a machine gun and rocket launcher overlooking the plaza in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
”Young people, women, elderly, you are all in the sight of our arrows and what’s going to come is even worse,” reads the text.
It’s not the first time ISIS threatened European capitals.
Meanwhile, EU’s most senior security expert warned that ISIS’ next step may be to load unmanned drones with biological weapons and attack European cities.
Gilles de Kerchove, counterterrorism coordinator for the EU, said he expected to see step–by-step instructions in the terrorists’ online magazines that teach jihadis “how to process a virus in your mum’s kitchen” much like the article that appear in al-Qaeda’s Inspire magazine explaining “how to make a bomb in your mum’s kitchen.”
Kerchove said that “until ISIS cannot occupy space online freely, we will not be safe…The speed with which people are brought to violence is almost too fast to catch.”