[Ed. – I, personally, am shocked, shocked.]
On Sunday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described as “stupid and idiotic” Western expectations for his country to curb its missile program. He decreed mass production of ballistic weapons, striking a defiant tone just before nuclear talks resumed on Wednesday in Vienna.
The high-stakes negotiations aim for a deal by a July 20 deadline to end a long stand-off that has raised the risk of a wider Middle East war.
Tehran’s often repeated view that missiles should not be part of the nuclear talks appears to enjoy the support of Russia, one of the six global powers. …
The new report by the U.N. Panel of Experts, seen by Reuters…makes clear that, apart from holding off on test-firing one type of rocket, Iran shows no sign of putting the brakes on the expansion of its missile program.
“Iran is continuing development of its ballistic missile and space programs,” the experts said, citing the August 2013 identification of a new missile launch site near Shahrud and a larger missile and satellite launch complex at the Imam Khomeini Space Center at Semnan believed to be near completion.
The report also noted what it described as the June 2013 opening of the Imam Sadeq Observation and Monitoring Center for monitoring space objects, including satellites.