Iran starts production of long-range cruise missile

Iranian army chief of staff says his country will never trust the United States

A line of Iranian Qadir anti-ship cruise missiles, first revealed in 2011. (screen capture: YouTube/PressTV)
A line of Iranian Qadir anti-ship cruise missiles, first revealed in 2011. (screen capture: YouTube/PressTV)

Iran on Saturday formally inaugurated what it said was mass production of a long-range anti-ship cruise missile.

The ceremony for the Qadir cruise missile, a homegrown Iranian invention said to be capable of striking naval targets up to 300 kilometers (186 miles) away, was attended by high-ranking members of the defense establishment, including Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan, according to a report by Fars News, a semi-official Iranian news agency.

Dehqan said he missiles could be deployed quickly and accurately from a variety of different platforms. He said the Qadir had highly advanced radar, anti-jamming and anti-electronic warfare systems, and was capable of delivering a missile with high destructive power while flying at low altitude.

The Qadir was publicly revealed in 2011.

Hassan Firouzabadi, left, with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2011. (Screenshot: Youtube)
Hassan Firouzabadi, left, with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2011. (Screenshot: Youtube)

At a separate event commemorating the appointment of Iran’s new police chief on Saturday, the Iranian army Chief of Staff Hassan Firouzabadi criticized the United States, declaring that Tehran will never have faith in Washington, which Fars News reported he characterized as “not trustful.”

“The high precision, rapid reaction and high quality of these important products have incredibly increased the Armed Forces’ combat power in the sky, sea and ground,” Dehqan said, while asserting Iran’s regional dominance in developing its own weapons.

“God willing, the Defense Ministry’s new missiles with much more advanced capabilities will be delivered to the Armed Forces next year,” he said.

Iran, which has developed a long list of homegrown weaponry, including drones, naval vessels, aircraft and electronic systems, recently flexed its power in a large scale naval drill in the Persian Gulf.

Tehran is known to possess ballistic missiles capable of reaching Israel and parts of Europe.

Deqhan also spoke about a new Iranian surface-to-surface missile, the Soumar. Iran unveiled the long-range cruise missile at a separate ceremony held earlier this month.

“Soumar long-range ground-to-ground cruise missile system has been designed and built by experts of the defense ministry’s aerospace industries organization,” the defense minister said.

Citing outside media reports, Russia Today reported that the Soumar, which could be launched from a mobile platform, bears a striking resemblance in design to the KH-55, a Soviet missile capable of delivering a conventional or nuclear payload.

Iran is at the tail-end of finalizing a deal with the United States and other foreign powers that will likely grant Tehran the ability to enrich uranium within supervised limits. Iran insists its nuclear program is for civilian purposes, although Israel and others have openly challenged these claims.

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