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Iran Admits North Korean Missile Purchases

While it is suspected that Iran and North Korea continue to exchange cash for missile and nuclear technology, as reported in the Korea Times, Iran admitted to buying missiles from North Korea during the Iran-Iraq war.

"The truth is that during the war, we had Scud B and Scud C missiles,” Yahya Rahim Safavi, chief commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, told Al Alam TV.

“We received these from foreign countries like North Korea, but 17 years after the war, we were able to design all of these pieces and even their fuel,” the commander said.

Some may respond, "No big deal. That was long ago." But the relationship has grown, not disappeared. Consider intelligence reports that place senior IRGC officers at both this summer's North Korean missile launch and October's North Korean nuclear test. And consider the following report from Pakistan's Daily Times.

Iran is ready to share its missile systems with friends and neighbours, said the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, after he showed off missiles including some he said had cluster warheads.

Revolutionary Guards Commander-in-Chief Yahya Rahim Safavi said on Sunday that the Guards had thousands of troops trained for suicide missions in case Iran was threatened, although “a US attack is unlikely”. “We are able to give our missile systems to friendly and neighbouring countries,” Safavi told Al-Alam. ...

“Tehran also considers this as its duty to help friendly countries that are exposed to invasion of the Zionist regime (Israel),” Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammad Reza Sheibani was quoted as saying.

Translation: Lebanon, home of the IRGC's Hizballah.

That places into proper context the Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar's report that focused on Iran's desire to provide anti-aircraft missiles to the Lebanese Army for the purposes of shooting down Israeli IAF jets.

Hizbullah backer Iran has said it was ready to equip the Lebanese army with anti-aircraft weaponry following Israel's devastating offensive on Lebanon.

The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) quoted Iran's Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammad-Reza Sheybani as telling Army Commander Gen. Michel Suleiman that his country would "supply modern anti-aircraft arms to Lebanon."

But pay close attention to the next quote from the Islamic Republic News Agency.

"Sheybani also called for promotion of joint cooperation in the field of defense and implementation of agreements previously signed in this regard," according to IRNA.

"Joint cooperation in the field of defense" translates into anything and everything else beyond anti-aircraft missiles, including ballistic missiles. Naturally, this will never come to pass, as Israel will destroy any such ballistic missile assets Iran were to ever supply Lebanon, with or without Lebanon's equipment request and no matter where they were placed. If the missiles were deployed next to hospitals and orphanages, they would be destroyed in place regardless.

It should also be noted that these are Iranian words and Iranian desires, not necessarily the desires of the Lebanese government.