UN Amb. Danon calls for action against Iranian nuclear threat
CAIRO – 21 February 2019: In a letter to the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday, Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon has said Iran had a failed attempt to launch a satellite into space at the beginning of February, and was carried by a rocket that is capable of carrying a nuclear head.
Danon further called on the security council to act against the Iranian nuclear threat.
"Iran has clearly and blatantly ignored the call by the international community to cease this type of activity that violates Security Council Resolution 2231, which accompanies the nuclear agreement with the superpowers," Danon added.
“The international community should view this as another provocative act that is part of Iran's hostile ballistic missile program,” Danon wrote. “Iran's efforts to promote this plan not only threatens its neighbors and the entire Middle East, but also a large portion of European countries.”
He also pointed out that Iran has become the main supplier of ballistic missile technologies to Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and Iraq, while providing these capabilities to non-state actors and terrorist operatives.
Hezbollah working on missile upgrade system
According to a report by the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre, which is an independent British think tank, Iran-backed Hezbollah has embarked on a major project to upgrade thousands of missiles with new systems that would enhance their accuracy to allow them to hit targets within 50 meters.
This would increase Hezbollah’s ability to engage in direct confrontations with Israel and develop its offensive capabilities.
According to a report, Hezbollah is believed to have as many as 100,000 missiles, but no more than 200 of them are precision guided. As such, the vast majority of missiles, if fired, would not be guaranteed to hit their targets, and any missile likely to hit a military base, infrastructure, or inhabited area could be deflected by one of Israel’s three defense missile systems.
However, the report said, Hezbollah is working on a “precision project” to “upgrade its 14,000 Zelzal-2 missiles with precision guidance systems that would enhance their accuracy to 50 km from their intended target with a range of 210 km.
The report added that Hezbollah is doing the upgrade work in underground workshops, originally built by Iran.
“Israel has a legacy of pre-emptive military action against strategic threats,” BICOM said. “However, any such pre-emptive strike would almost certainly lead to a major violent conflagration that both sides are loathe to undertake. Israeli decision makers would also be concerned about the level of international support for such a move, which also helps explain Israel’s strategy of making public statements about the threat,” the report added.
Such a project could trigger war with Israel, who would be confronted with the dilemma as to whether to launch a pre-emptive strike and destroy Hezbollah missile factories or delay military action and risk facing a substantially more destructive missile threat to its critical infrastructure and population centers,” the report said.
Moreover, a report from Fox News that was based on Western intelligence assessments said a Fars Air Qeshm cargo 747 airliner transported weapons to Hezbollah last December.
“The Iranians are trying to come up with new ways and routes to smuggle weapons from Iran to its allies in the Middle East,” a source told Fox News in September.
Meddling into Lebanon’s affairs
U.S. Ambassador to Beirut Elizabeth Richard expressed concerns on Tuesday over the Iran-backed Hezbollah’s interference in the formation of the new cabinet.
During a meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Richard stressed that such growing role of the militant group cannot be deemed contribution to the stability of Lebanon.
The ambassador further called upon the new government of Hariri to refrain from providing any support to Hezbollah from public resources.
“I was also very frank with the prime minister about US concern over the growing role in the Cabinet of an organization that continues to maintain a militia that is not under the control of the government,” Richard told reporters after the meeting.
She added that Hezbollah continues to make its own “national security decisions” that “endanger the rest of the country.”