Iran refuses US requests, unveils latest nuclear missiles and cruise missiles.
Iran effectively defied US demands to stop the missile program on Thursday, showing a new locally developed ballistic missile and a series of cruise missiles that its Defense Minister said had a range of 1,400 kilometers. “The surface-to – surface rocket, called the martyr Qassem Soleimani, is 1400 km long and the cruise missile, named the martyr Abu Mahdi, is more than 1,000 km high,” said Iran’s State TV.
Soleimani, leader of Iran’s elite Quds Unit, and Iraqi military chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were killed in a US attack on their convoy at Baghdad airport in January. “Missils and especially cruise missiles are very important to us … The fact that we’ve expanded the number from 300 to 1,000 in less than two years is a big achievement, “said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
“Our military strength and rocket systems are protective.” The statement came as Washington seeks to prolong the UN weapons embargo on Iran, which is set to lapse in October following Tehran ‘s 2015 nuclear pact with world powers. Tensions have been high between Tehran and Washington since 2018, when President Donald Trump removed the United States from the deal and re-imposed crippling sanctions on Iran.
Washington argues that its aim is to force Tehran to agree a broader deal that places stricter limits on its nuclear work, curbs its ballistic missile program, and ends its regional proxy wars. Iran has refused talks as long as US sanctions remain in place. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that Trump had instructed him to begin a ‘snapback’—a restoration to all U.S. restrictions on Iran — at the International Security Council in New York on Thursday, after the Council refused Washington’s offer to prolong the Tehran weapons embargo.