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Iran tests new cruise missile

February 2, 2019

An Iranian government video showed the test missile being launched and hitting a target in the desert. Tehran insists it is part of a purely defensive program and does not violate an international accord.

A Hoveizeh cruise missile is shown in a picture released by the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry (picture-alliance/AP Photo/Iranian Defense Ministry)
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/Iranian Defense Ministry

Iran on Saturday unveiled a new cruise missile with a range of more than 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) during celebrations marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, state television reported.

In the 37-second video on the ministry website, the launch was shown from different angles with the projectile finally hitting somewhere in the desert.

Read more: Iran's military power: What you need to know

"The test of the Hoveizeh cruise missile was carried out successfully at a range of 1,200 kilometers and accurately hit the set target," Defense Minister Amir Hatami said on state television, which broadcast footage of its launch.

The surface-to-surface missile, named Hoveizeh, is from the Soumar family of cruise missiles, which Iran added to its arsenal in 2015, Hatami said. Tehran says that the launch was part of a purely defensive program and that the missile was not nuclear-capable.

Read more: US policy spreads gloom in Iran

US warnings 

The launch of the missile comes despite continuous warnings from the United States.

US President Donald Trump quit the 2015 international Iran nuclear deal last year and reimposed sanctions on the country that had been lifted under the pact in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear program.

Iran has said its missile tests do not violate the resolution.

Read more: What is the EU-Iran payment vehicle INSTEX?

Iran has voluntarily limited the range of its missiles to 2,000 kilometers — a distance sufficient to reach Israel and Western bases in the Middle East.

But Washington says that although Iran has met the terms of the deal, the accord was too generous and failed to limit Iran's ballistic missile program or curb what the US says is interference in regional affairs.

Washington and its allies have accused Tehran of pursuing enhanced missile capabilities that also threaten Europe.

Iran's Supreme National Security Council secretary, Admiral Ali Shamkhani, on Tuesday said it has "no intention of increasing the range" of its missiles.

law/ng (AFP, AP, Reuters)