On Thursday, Iran presented a surface-to-surface ballistic weapon that Defense Minister, Amir Hatami, reported that it had a range of 1,400 kilometers and a new cruise missile, while Iran ignores the demands of US that Tehran stops its missile program.
Hatami declared in a televised speech that 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.
Moreover, the pictures of the missiles have been shown on state TV, saying: the newest Iranian cruise missile that will further strengthen Iran’s deterrence power.
It should be noted that Soleimani, chief of elite Quds Force of Iran, and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were killed in January in a strike of the US on their convoy in Baghdad airport. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said: Missiles and particularly cruise missiles are very important for us … the fact that we have increased the range from 300 to 1,000 in less than two years is a great achievement. Our military might and missile programs are defensive.
The announcement comes when Washington is preparing to extend an UN-imposed arms embargo against Iran, which is expected to expire in October under the nuclear agreement of Tehran in 2015 with world powers. Furthermore, the tensions between Tehran and Washington have been increased since 2018, as President Donald Trump retired the United States from the deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran.
In the same context, Washington reports that its objective is to make pressure to Tehran to accept a broader agreement that puts stricter limits on its nuclear work, curbs its ballistic missile program, and ends its regional proxy wars. Whereas, Iran has refused discussions as long as there are the US sanctions.
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, reported that Trump has pointed him to launch snapback, a return of all US sanctions on Iran, at the U.N. Security Council in New York on Thursday, after that the council refused the request of Washington to extend Tehran’s arms embargo.