Israel Carries Out Test Launch for Rocket Propulsion System

Israel tested Friday a rocket propulsion system, launched from a military base located in the center of the country.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement that the test launch was scheduled in advance and was carried out as planned, providing no further details.

This comes amid increasing tension between Israel and Iran. The New York Times reported on Wednesday Tehran was building up a “hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq,” capable of reaching Israel, Saudi Arabia and U.S. troops in other parts of the region. 

This, the Times reported, was "part of a widening effort to try to intimidate the Middle East and assert its power."

Distance from Iranian missile sites

Meanhwile, France, Germany and the United Kingdom said in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres circulated Wednesday that Iran was developing "nuclear-capable ballistic missiles," which they say is in violation of a Securiy Council resolution endorsing the 2015 nuclear deal.

The letter cites footage released on social media April 22, 2019, of a previously unseen flight test of a new Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missile variant “equipped with a maneuverable re-entry vehicle.” It says: “The Shahab-3 booster used in the test is a Missile Technology Control Regime category-1 system and as such is technically capable of delivering a nuclear weapon.”

Officials in the Trump administration also have said Iran is working to obtain nuclear-capable missiles, something the Iranians deny.