Iran is ramping up its military capabilities

Iran is ramping up its military capabilities by boosting the range of its powerful coast-to-sea missiles, just days after unveiling two new weapon systems, one of which is capable of carrying warheads weighing almost two tons, in a clear show of defiance in the face of US sanctions.

“We did not have coast-to-sea missiles before the Islamic Revolution in Iran but today the range of our missiles has increased to 300km and it will increase in the near future” – Rear Admiral Mahmoud Moussavi

Rear Admiral Mahmoud Moussavi, the Islamic Republic’s Deputy Commander for Operations said the various missile systems were aimed at bolstering the country’s deterrence. Mr Moussavi struck a bullish tone as he described lauded the deployment of the Iranian Naval forces in the Persian Gulf, the Caspian Sea and in international waters, according to the state-run Fars News Agency. Speaking in Tehran yesterday, he said: “We did not have coast-to-sea missiles before the Islamic Revolution in Iran but today the range of our missiles has increased to 300km and it will increase in the near future.”

On Saturday, Iran revealed its newly developed long-range cruise missile, named Hoveizeh, with Defence Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami saying: “The range of Hoveizeh missile is over 1,350km and it is good for targeting ground targets.”

Mr Hatami said Hoveizeh was a “highly destructive” rapid reaction missile capable of flying at low altitudes.

He added: “Hoveizeh ground-to-ground cruise missile has been test-fired in a 1,200-km range and it managed to precisely hit the specified target.”

On Sunday, Iran unveiled a new generation of missiles with guided warheads named Khorramshahr 2, which can be controlled until hitting the target, and which can carry warheads weighing nearly two tons.

The warheads had previously been mounted on Iran’s home-made Emad missiles and Qadr and Qiam ballistic missiles.

Khorramshahr is a ballistic missile with a range of just over 1200 miles (2,000 km) which can carry multiple warheads.

Tensions between Iran on the one hand, and the United States and Israel on the other, have been steadily rising in recent months, especially after a presentation by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he accused Tehran of a clandestine operation to develop nuclear weapons.

Mr Netanyahu’s claims were swiftly followed by confirmation by US President Donald Trump that he was pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement aimed at preventing them doing so, citing alleged breaches.

Speaking last month, Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), said: “We have earlier said about the missile issue that we will not compromise at all about our country’s defence issues and will not allow others to interfere in it.”

He added: “We will not compromise our honour under Trump’s bullying.

“This is the clear message of the Iranian government to the White House: sanctions will no way serve as an instrument to enforce renegotiations on issues already agreed upon.”

Amirali Hajizadeh, aerospace division head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards, said in December his country held up to 50 missile tests a year, including an unspecified ballistic missile test earlier in the month, despite condemnation from the US.

He said: “We will continue our missile tests and this recent action was an important test.

“The reaction of the Americans shows that this test was very important for them and that’s why they were shouting.”

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif insisted there were no legal restrictions preventing Iran testing such weapons.

He said: “The issue of missiles has never been subject to negotiations and nothing has been approved or ratified about its prohibition for the Islamic Republic of Iran in UN resolution 2231.

“Our defence doctrine is basically founded upon deterrence.”

Source » express

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