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 December 08, 2019

Iran is crying foul after Israeli’s Defense Ministry confirmed a major test of a mystery new “rocket propulsion system” on Friday morning.

“The defense establishment conducted a launch test a few minutes ago of a rocket propulsion system from a base in the center of the country,” the ministry said. “The test was scheduled in advance and was carried out as planned.”

Giving no further details, international reports were rife with speculation over the nature of the rocket, with many saying it was a nuclear-capable ballistic missile. This was enough for Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to go off, saying in a statement posted to Titter:“Israel today tested a nuke-missile, aimed at Iran.”

And he further complained that the West looks the other way when it comes to“about the only nuclear arsenal in West Asia,”but that it“has fits of apoplexy over our conventional defensive [rockets].”

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The mystery Israeli testwas significant enough to require the temporary diversion of all inbound flights to Tel Aviv’sBen Gurion Airport.

Israeli media publications also considered the possibility that it was a ballistic missile test, likely nuclear warhead capablesurface-to-surface Jericho system, an intercontinental ballistic missile which according to foreign reports can support a nuclear payload.

It comesat a tense time in the region following Israeli airstrikes on Syria and even Iraq, against what the IDF alleges were ‘Iranian targets’. According to the Times of Israel:

Israel does not publicly acknowledge having ballistic missiles in its arsenals, though according to foreign reports, the Jewish state possesses a nuclear-capable variety known as the Jericho that has a multi-stage engine, a 5,000-kilometer range and is capable of carrying a 1,000-kilogram warhead.

And according to a Avi Scharf, the editor of the English version of Haaretz newspaper, the missile test may have had a flight trajectory deepinto the Mediterranean, as far West as past the island of Crete.


 · 5 Dec 2019

Airspace west of Israel cleared for missile test. All flights departing North


avi scharf



To track and handle it all, IAI telemetry plane + at least two Israeli AF g550 aewc/shavit spyplanes + hercs flew all the way out past Crete


23:45 - 5 Dec 2019

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Tehran officials, while complaining about the provocative rocket test which they claimed was an ICBM, vowed they are still “determined to resolutely continue its activities related to ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles.”

Israeli residents captured part of the rare launch on video:

Washington has repeatedly condemned similar Iranian launches, even while the program is not formally banned under the 2015 JCPOA, and has leveled sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic’s ability to produce advanced missiles.