Iran Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Iran has begun to mass produce the Qader marine cruise missile, designed to target warships, frigates and coastal targets, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi was quoted as saying by Press TV on Wednesday.
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An unspecified number of the missiles, equipped with a range of 200 kilometers, were delivered to the Iranian Navy as well as to the Revolutionary Guard's naval division, the Tehran Times reported.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad originally unveiled the missile in August. Vahidi deemed the manufacture of the missile a "great achievement" for Iran and denied as "false and malicious" reports that the Qader was not truly a domestically-manufactured product.
Russian news agency Ria Novosti quoted the Islamic Republic's naval
chief, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayarri as saying Tehran plans on sending
ships into the Atlantic Ocean to create a strong presence in the
vicinity of the US coastline.
"The Iranian Navy will have a powerful presence near the United States borders," Sayari reportedly stated.
In late August, Sayarri said that Iran was planning on sending its 15th
fleet, comprised of a submarine and a warship, to the Gulf of Aden and
the Red Sea.
In February, after the downfall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, two
Iranian warships passed through the Suez canal for the first time since
the 1979 Islamic Revolution en route to Syria, a maneuver Israel
described as "provocative".