Iran has successfully test-fired a new type of ballistic missile amid rising tensions with the United States, state-run media reported on Saturday, claiming that the missile has a range of up to 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles).
The missile – called Khorramshahr – was launched on Friday from an undisclosed location. Footage aired on state television on Saturday showed the missile being fired and later reaching what appeared to be an extremely high altitude.
The launch happened just hours after the missile was unveiled during a military parade in the capital Tehran to mark the start of Sacred Defense Week, which is an annual commemoration of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. The parade was attended by President Hassan Rouhani.
Iranian news agencies said the missile has a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) and is capable of carrying several warheads, making it a medium-range missile. The range could not be independently confirmed because specific details about Friday’s test were not immediately available.
Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a senior commander in the Aerospace Division of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, told state media on Friday that the Khorramshahr missile was smaller in size and more tactical when compared to previous missiles.
During Friday’s event, Rouhani vowed to strengthen Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities despite warnings from the United States. “We will promote our defensive and military power as much as we deem necessary. We seek no one’s permission to defend our land,” he said.
The missile test comes at a time of rising tensions with the United States. U.S. President Donald Trump has indicated that he is considering to pull the U.S. out of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, even though all parties confirm that Iran has complied with the deal’s requirements.
Trump, while addressing world leaders at the United Nations on Tuesday, accused Iran of funding terrorism and working to undermine peace throughout the entire Middle East.
“We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program,” the U.S. president said.
Trump added: “The Iran Deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it – believe me. It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction.”
Trump has until October 15 to decide whether to certify Iran’s compliance with the deal. If he chooses to decertify, it would trigger a 60-day window for lawmakers to determine whether to reimpose U.S. sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program. Those sanctions were lifted under the 2015 agreement, which did not address Iran’s missile program.
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