Iran celebrates 40th anniversary of Islamic revolution with long-range cruise missile

Iran displayed a new long-range cruise missile on Saturday during celebrations marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran’s Defence Minister Amir Hatami proudly unveiled the cruise missile which, he said, has a range of 1,350km (840 miles) and threatened: “no obstacle can hinder the Iranian nation’s determination and will.”

While western experts say Tehran often exaggerates the capability of its armament, they conceded there are concerns surrounding Iran’s long-range ballistic missiles such as this one.

General Salami Iran's strategy is to wipe Israel off the map of the world (2)

“This cruise missile needs a very short time for its preparedness and can fly at a low altitude,” Defense Minister Amir Hatami said during the unveiling ceremony.

The surface-to-surface missile, named Hoveizeh, is from the Soumar family of cruise missiles, which Iran added to its arsenal in 2015.

An undated video purportedly showing the Hoveizeh being test-fired from a mobile launcher was published on the Defense Ministry’s website. It quoted Hatami as saying the missile had successfully hit targets at a distance of 1,200 km.

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Since agreeing to a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Iran has expanded its missile program, particularly its ballistic missiles, in defiance of opposition from the United States and expressions of concern by European countries. Tehran says the program is ‘purely defensive’.

U.S. President Donald Trump quit the deal last year and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

The UK, Germany, and France have created a new payments system to allow European businesses to trade with Iran despite US sanctions.

Last month, the head of Iran’s air force has threatened his country is ‘impatient’ to fight Israel and ‘eliminate it from the Earth’.

The deputy commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps threatened Israel with destruction. General Salami said: “Our strategy is to wipe Israel off the political map of the world and it seems with its own mischief, Israel is getting closer to this outcome”.