Iran unveils missile that can reach Israel, carry multiple warheads
search
Khoramshahr can fly 1,250 miles

Iran unveils missile that can reach Israel, carry multiple warheads

Rouhani vows to press on with ballistic program despite US criticism: ‘Whether you like it or not, we are going to strengthen our military capabilities’

The new Iranian long range missile Khoramshahr is displayed during the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, on September 22,2017 in Tehran. (AFP PHOTO / str)
The new Iranian long range missile Khoramshahr is displayed during the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, on September 22,2017 in Tehran. (AFP PHOTO / str)

TEHRAN (AFP) — President Hassan Rouhani vowed on Friday that Iran would boost its ballistic missile capabilities despite criticism from the United States and also France.

His comments came as Iran displayed a new missile at a military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of its devastating 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

“Whether you like it or not, we are going to strengthen our military capabilities which are necessary for deterrence,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state television.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers his speech during the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of its 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, on September 22, 2017 in Tehran. (AFP/stringer)

“We will strengthen not only our missiles but also our air, land and sea forces… When it comes to defending our country, we will ask nobody for their permission.”

Criticism by the Donald Trump administration of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers, including the United States, has focused heavily on Tehran’s continuing missile program.

Tehran says that the missiles are entirely legitimate under the terms of the deal as they are not designed to carry a nuclear warhead.

At the UN on Wednesday, Rouhani said Iran has never sought nuclear weapons, and that its military arsenal, including its missiles “are solely defensive deterrence.”

But Washington says they breach the spirit of the agreement as they have the potential to carry a nuclear warhead and has imposed new sanctions over Tehran’s continuing launches and tests.

There has been some sympathy for the US position from France, whose President Emmanuel Macron said the deal could be expanded to ban missile tests and cut a sunset clause in the nuclear agreement that would see Iran resume some uranium enrichment from 2025.

But even he insisted that the core deal not be dumped.

New missile displayed

Iran showed off a new missile, named Khoramshahr after a southwestern city, at an anniversary military parade in the capital.

“The Khoramshahr missile has a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) and can carry multiple warheads,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Revolutionary Guards aerospace chief General Amir Ali Hajizadeh as saying.

Iran says all of its missiles are designed to carry conventional warheads only and has limited their range to a maximum of 2,000 kilometers, although commanders say they have the technology to go further.

That makes them only medium-range but still sufficient to reach Israel or US bases in the Gulf.

Thus far, the UN nuclear watchdog and the US State Department have reported that Tehran has complied with the terms of the nuclear deal.

But Trump, who this week described the deal as an “embarrassment,” is due to report to the US Congress on October 15 on whether or not he believes that Iran is in compliance.

If, as now appears increasingly likely, he decides that it is not, it could open the way for renewed US sanctions and perhaps the collapse of the agreement.

Trump said on Wednesday he had made his decision but was not yet ready to reveal it.

Washington has also taken aim at what it says is Tehran’s failure to meet expectations that it would play a more stabilizing role in the Middle East.

“Regrettably, since the agreement was confirmed we have seen anything but a more peaceful, stable region and this is a real issue,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters at the United Nations.

Washington has been particularly concerned about Iran’s heavy intervention in Syria on the side of the government of President Bashar al-Assad and its support for Shiite rebels in Yemen who control the capital in defiance of its Saudi-backed government.

But Rouhani ruled out any change of policy in the region.

“Whether you like it or not, we are going to defend the oppressed peoples of Yemen, Palestine and Syria,” he said.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments