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Iran unveils new ballistic missile as ‘answer to Westerners’

A test-fire of the Fateh-110, an Iranian Ballistic single-stage solid-propellant, surface-to-surface missile. (Hossein Velayati/Wikimedia Commons)
February 08, 2019

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has unveiled a new surface-to-air ballistic missile at a secret underground ballistic missile facility that can reportedly travel up to 621 miles.

Iran’s news agency, Sepah News, made the announcement on Thursday, the AFP reported.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to the missile, tweeting Thursday, “Iran’s latest missile launch again proves the Iran deal is doing nothing to stop Iran’s missile program. Iran is defying the UN Security Council as it advances its ballistic missile capabilities. We must restore tougher international restrictions to deter Iran’s missile program.”

Iranian Aerospace Commander Brig. Gen. Amirali Hajizadeh said the new ballistic missile has “destructive power” twice that of a previous iteration of the missile, the AFP reported.

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“Displaying this missile production facility deep underground is an answer to Westerners … who think they can stop us from reaching our goals through sanctions and threats,” Revolutionary Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari reportedly said, AFP reported. “Europeans talk of limiting our defensive capability while they have the audacity (to allow) their offensive power be used to attack innocent people all over the world.”

The missile, the Dezful, increases Iran’s surface-to-air ballistic missile range from about 435 miles to now more than 600, upping the ante of the Zolfaghar missile.

Iran recently also tested a new cruise missile, the Hoveizeh, which reportedly can travel up to 838 miles.

While Iran has said it is not developing nuclear missiles, President Donald Trump recently warned of Iran’s missile capabilities, clashing with what U.S. Intelligence later said regarding Iran and that it wasn’t as much of a threat as perceived.

“The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran,” Trump has tweeted. “They are wrong! When I became President Iran was making trouble all over the Middle East, and beyond. Since ending the terrible Iran Nuclear Deal, they are MUCH different, but….”

“….a source of potential danger and conflict,” he continued. “They are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very close to the edge. There economy is now crashing, which is the only thing holding them back. Be careful of Iran. Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!”

Regarding Iran, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats recently told Congress that U.S. intelligence doesn’t believe Iran is trying to create a nuclear device. However, he did note that Iran has the Middle East’s largest stockpile of ballistic missiles.

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This past October, it was reported that Iran has launched 39 ballistic missiles in the three years since nations signed the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal, forged under the Obama Administration.

In 2017, Iran also fired missiles into Syria. The attack was considered a retaliatory action for an ISIS attack waged on Tehran.

Iran’s heightened missile activity has been considered a response to sanctions imposed by the U.S. after Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in May 2018.

When withdrawing from the nuclear accord, Trump called the deal “defective at its core” and a “disastrous deal” that gave the Iranian “regime of great terror” billions of dollars.

President Trump has long been critical of the Obama-era agreement, calling it an “embarrassment” and “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”