Iran Unveils Two New Missiles Amid U.S. Tensions
(Source: Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty; issued Aug 20, 2020)
Iran has displayed what it described as two new ballistic and cruise missiles, in defiance to U.S. calls that Tehran halt its missile program.
The surface-to-surface ballistic missile has a range of 1,400 kilometers while the cruise missile has a range of more than 1,000 kilometers, Defense Minister Amir Hatami said in a televised speech on August 20.
President Hassan Rohani said on state television that Iran’s "military might and missile programs are defensive" and "do not present a danger to other countries."
Pictures of the two missiles -- named after Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis -- were shown on state TV.
Soleimani, a major general who led Iran's elite Quds Force, and Muhandis, an Iraqi militia commander, were killed in a U.S. strike in Baghdad airport in January, resulting in a dramatic escalation in tensions between the United States and Iran.
Iranian officials routinely unveil what they describe as technological achievements for the country's armed forces.
The country’s latest announcement comes as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to formally notify the UN Security Council later in the day that the United States intends to begin the process of restoring UN sanctions on Iran.
The move comes after the Security Council rejected Washington's bid to extend an arms embargo on Iran that is due to expire in October under the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
The United States withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran.
Washington says it wants Iran to agree to a new pact that would put stricter limits on its nuclear work and curb its missile program.
Iranian officials have rejected talks as long as U.S. sanctions remain in place.
Iran Unveils Two New Cruise, Ballistic Missiles
(Source: FARS news agency; published Aug. 20, 2020)
TEHRAN --- Iran on Thursday unveiled several home-made defense equipment, including a long-range ballistic missile and a cruise missile system.
The two missiles, designed and manufactured by Iranian experts, were unveiled on the occasion the National Defense Industry Day in Iran.
The unveiling ceremony was held in the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani via video conference.
Speaking at the event broadcast live on TV, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said the country had inaugurated a surface-to-surface ballistic missile with a range of 1,400 kilometers named after top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, who was martyred by the US military in January.
Iran has also developed a cruise missile, named Martyr Abu Mahdi, which has a range of over 1,000 kilometers, he said.
“The country’s achievements in the defense industry over the past four decades are not comparable to any other period,” General Hatami said, describing the accomplishments as a “basis for military self-reliance and a must for [maintaining] the country’s independence”.
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also assassinated along with General Soleimani and a number of their comrades in a US drone raid near the Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.
Commenting on the new achievement’s features, Iran’s Deputy Defense Minister Brigadier General Qassem Taqizadeh said the speed of the Martyr Qassem Soleimani missiles makes their interception impossible.
He added that the cruise missile is capable of flying at a low altitude and getting around the enemy’s missile systems.
The Iranian defense chief further said that the domestically-built training jets, dubbed Yasin, A-90 and Fajr-3 are undergoing their final tests and will soon enter service.
He said that Iran has begun the mass production of its first indigenous turbo jet engine, dubbed Owj, which was unveiled in 2016.
Pointing to the inauguration of the production line of the domestically-manufactured Kowsar fighter jet, General Hatami said the country will soon deliver another three of the jets to the country’s Air Force.
The fourth-generation fighter jets were unveiled back in July 2017 and showcased to the international audience at MAKS air show in Moscow.
Also, in the ceremony, Owj turbofan engine assembly line was opened and a drone exhibition was inaugurated.
Also, a light-weight fourth-generation turbofan engine that is used in advanced drones was put on display. The engine will remarkably boost the Iranian aviation power and upgrade the engine of drones.
Late in July during the second day of massive 'Great Prophet-14' drills in the Southern parts of the country, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) fired ballistic missiles buried deep into the ground.
The successful firing of ballistic missiles fully hidden in camouflage deep into the ground was an important achievement that could pose serious challenges to enemy intelligence agencies.
Iranian Armed Forces recently test-fire different types of newly-developed missiles and torpedoes and tested a large number of home-made weapons, tools and equipment, including submarines, military ships, artillery, choppers, aircrafts, UAVs and air defense and electronic systems, during massive military drills.
Iranian officials have always stressed that the country's military and arms programs serve defensive purposes.
Defense analysts and military observers say that Iran's wargames and its advancements in weapons production have proved as a deterrent factor.