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Iran reveals new missile named after 'martyr Qasem Soleimani'

Rouhani spoke at the unveiling of the new missiles [Iranian Presidency/Handout]

Date of publication: 20 August, 2020

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Iran has unveiled a new surface-to-surface missiles, amid continued tensions with Gulf states.

Iran unveiled the latest additions to its missile arsenal on Thursday, including one projectile named after Qasem Soleimani, the Quds Force commander killed in a US airstrike in January.

Defence Minister Amir Hatami said the new ground-to-ground missile has a range of 1,400 km and will "further strengthen Iran's deterrence power", amid continued tensions with the US and Gulf states.

A cruise missile was also displayed and named after Abu Mahdi Muhandis, the leader of an pro-Iran Iraqi militia who was also killed in the airstrike.

"The surface-to-surface missile, called martyr Qassem Soleimani, has a range of 1,400 km and the cruise missile, called martyr Abu Mahdi, has a range of over 1,000 km," said Hatami, according to Reuters.

President Hassan Rouhani praised the breakthrough in missile technology by Iranian scientists, claiming that over the past two years locally-produced cruise missiles have increased in range from "300 to 1,000" kilometres.

"Our military might and missile programmes are defensive," he said, despite threats he made last week against the UAE over its peace deal with Israel.

Iran has invested heavily in its missile and drone programmes, which Tehran claims is purely for defensive purposes.

Tehran was accused of launching missile and drone strikes on Saudi oil facilities in 2019, while the US pulled out of a nuclear deal with Iran under President Donald Trump, in part due to its missile programme.

Washington has sought to extend an arms embargo on Iran, which is due to expire in October.

The airstrike of Soleimani led to retaliatory missile strikes on Iraqi bases hosting US military personnel.

Since then, tensions have eased but Iran has been vocal about its opposition to a peace deal agreed between Israel and the UAE.

 

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