Countering the US, Iran test-fires new ballistic missile

The missile is capable of reaching Israel, and it can be armed with several warheads.

September 23, 2017 09:43
1 minute read.

TV coverage of Iranian missile test, September 23, 2017 (Reuters)

TV coverage of Iranian missile test, September 23, 2017 (Reuters)


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Shortly after Iran unveiled its newest ballistic missile in a military parade on Friday, Tehran test-fired the weapon, broadcasting the launch on public television.

The Khorramshahr missile has a range of 2000 kilometers — enough to hit Israel — and can be armed with several warheads.

The release and launch of the missile comes shortly after a speech by US President Donald Trump at the UN General Assembly in which he directly attacked the Islamic Republic.

''The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy,'' Trump charged, also referring to the country as a ''rogue state.''

Trump also attacked the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the deal reached by several states just over two years ago that aims to curb Iran's nuclear program for the next ten years. He called it ''one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into'' and said it was ''an embarrassment.''

In August, Trump signed a new sanctions bill against Iran for its continued development of ballistic missiles, among other charges. The bill, though meant to target Iran, calls for penalties against foreign agents or entities that do business with the country in connection to its missile program.

Speaking at the parade, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran ''will strengthen [its] defense and military capabilities...whether you want it or not,'' in reference to Trump's words. ''Iran's military power lies in its commitment to never invade another country or land.''

The Islamic Republic has long claimed its military and nuclear developments for defensive purposes only. It is currently fighting in Syria and Iraq alongside the Assad regime and the Lebanese group Hezbollah - which it arms and funds - against the Islamic State and anti-Assad rebels.

In his speech at the UN General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also went after Iran; speaking after Trump, the Israeli leader praised the American president's words. ''Iran vows to destroy my country,'' he said.

He also noted, correctly, that Iran is ''developing ballistic missiles.''

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