A ballistic missile launch on December 24 during Iran's latest wargames.

A ballistic missile launch on December 24 during Iran's latest wargames.

IRGC Affiliate Says Iran's Recent Wargames Gave Power To Negotiators


Fars news agency in Tehran affiliated with the IRGC said Monday that recent wargames were meant to give bargaining power to Iran’s nuclear negotiators in Vienna.

“The Great Prophet 17 wargames during a break in Vienna talks sent a signal that Iran has found its way forward on its nuclear path, economic relations with the East…military deterrence,” Fars wrote.

Fars’ rhetoric echoes messages repeatedly uttered by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his hardliner supporters, but the phrase ‘Iran on its nuclear path’ is noteworthy.

Fars went on to mock a statement by late president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani who reportedly said in 2016 that the world has become a place for “conversation not missiles.” Fars contrasted Hashemi’s statement with Khamenei’s reply at the time who said, “The world is both for missiles and conversation,” and without missiles Iran cannot have negotiations, or it will be the loser.

Fars then went on attacking France for its anti-Iran stance in the Vienna talks, a trend that state media started last week in what appears to be a response to tough positions expressed by the United Kingdom, France and Germany, the three European powers who are participants in the 2015 nuclear deal, JCPOA. They have called on Iran to negotiate “seriously” in Vienna and have warned of time running out to reach an agreement.

The IRGC-affiliated website went on to say that last week’s military drills, during which several ballistic missiles were fired at a mock-up of Israel’s Dimona nuclear facility, was meant to give Iran’s negotiators in Vienna “a full hand with which to haggle”.

Fars said Iran had fired missiles that could reach the Dimona facility in seven minutes and it demonstrated such a deterrence capability that proves threats by Israel, or the US against Iran’s nuclear sites are “empty threats”.

Iran is not in Vienna because it is weak and in need of an agreement, Fars said, and added, "It is in Vienna to defend its rights" under the JCPOA.

It also published tweets by mostly unknown users who praised the wargames and especially firing missiles at the mock-up of Dimona nuclear reactor. One tweet said, “Dimona nuclear facility – Today the mock-up, Tomorrow the real thing”.

Screenshot of tweet threatening an attack on Israel's Dimona nuclear site.

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