Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Iran successfully tests ballistic missile - state media

Melinda Barton | 25 September, 2017, 06:40

Iran said on Saturday it had successfully tested a new ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 km (1,200 miles) and would keep developing its arsenal despite U.S. pressure to stop.

An Iranian medium range missile Zelzal passes by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (C) during the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of its devastating 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, on September 22, 2017 in Tehran. The location of the test-firing hasn't been identified.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the test conflicted with a 2015 United Nations resolution with Iran over their nuclear program.

It's been known that Iran has had a missile with a range capable of reaching Israel, said Mark Fitzpatrick, executive director of the Institute for Internal Strategic Studies-Americas, a think tank. Iran says it has no such plans.

Iranian media outlets are calling the new missile "long-range" - but by most standards, it would be considered a medium-range ballistic missile. "They are also working with North Korea", Trump said on Twitter. Not much of an agreement the USA have, Trump tweeted.

"On the path to improve our country's defensive capacity we will certainly not be the least affected by any threats and we won't ask anyone's permission", Brigadier General Amir Hatami said in remarks carried by state television.

"The weight of the Khorramshahr missile's warhead has been announced to be 1,800 kg (4,000 lbs), ... making it Iran's most powerful missile for defence and retaliation against any aggressive enemy", state television said.

Under that agreement between Iran and five major world powers, Tehran agreed to uranium-enrichment limits and to worldwide inspections of its nuclear facilities in return for the lifting of crippling banking and trade sanctions.

Friday's parade also showcased various Iranian army units and Revolutionary Guard forces, as well as the police.

Trump has threatened to bin the nuclear agreement, saying Iran is developing missiles that may be used to deliver a nuclear warhead when the deal's restrictions are lifted in 2025. The deal, Rouhani said, is supported by his government and the five other parties - Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - that signed the agreement.

The news report cites that detail as being "much to the chagrin of President Trump and company" - but 2017 isn't the first time the USA has aired its concerns over Iran's rocket and missile research.