World

Revolutionary Guards general threatens Europe

LONDON The deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards warned Europe that if it threatens Teheran, the Guards will increase the range of its missiles to above 2,000km, the Fars News Agency said.

France has called for an "uncompromising" dialogue with Iran about its ballistic missile programme and a possible negotiation over the issue separate from Teheran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Iran has repeatedly said its missile programme is defensive and not negotiable.

"If we have kept the range of our missiles to 2,000km, it's not due to lack of technology... We are following a strategic doctrine," Brigadier General Hossein Salami said, according to Fars.

"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.

AMERICAN INTERESTS

The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards military force, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said last month that Iran's 2,000km missile range could cover "most of American interests and forces" within the region, so Iran did not need to extend it.

Mr Jafari said the ballistic missile range was based on the limits set by the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is the head of the armed forces.

Iran has one of the Middle East's largest missile programmes and some of its precision-guided missiles have the range to strike Israel.

The United States accused Iran this month of supplying Yemen's Houthi rebels with a missile that was fired into Saudi Arabia in July and called for the United Nations to hold Teheran accountable for violating two UN Security Council resolutions.

Iran has denied supplying the Houthis with missiles and weapons.

"Yemen is in total blockade. How could we have given them any missile?" Mr Salami said, according to the Fars report.

"If Iran can send a missile to Yemen, it shows the incapability of (the Saudi coalition).

"But we have not given them missiles." - REUTERS

WORLD