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Iran ignores US warning and test-fires new missile

Iran ignores US warning and test-fires new missile
2 min read
23 September, 2017
Iran said on Saturday it launched a recently unveiled medium-range missile, despite continued threats from US President Donald Trump that Washington might tear up a nuclear agreement with Tehran.

Iran said it tested a new medium-range missile on Saturday, in the face of renewed US criticism of Tehran.

Footage showed the launch of a Khoramshahr missile was aired on Iranian national television, along with in-flight video from the nose cone.

It follows the recent unveiling of the missile during Friday's military parade, with an announcement that the missile would be fired "soon".

It comes days after President Donald Trump attacked Iran during his debut speech to the UN, threatening the US might tear up a landmark nuclear agreement with Tehran.

Previous Iranian missile launches have led to sanctions from the US and accusations that the tests go against the spirit of the nuclear agreement.

Some in the US fear the tests the missiles are being designed to be able to deliver nuclear warheads when the agreement between Iran and several world powers expires.

Trump will report on 15 October on whether it remains in US interests to stick to the agreement. Iran says it has stuck to the terms of the nuclear deal.

Speaking at the military parade, President Hassan Rouhani vowed that Iran would continue its missile programme.

"We will strengthen not only our missiles but also our air, land and sea forces... When it comes to defending our country, we will ask nobody for their permission," he said. 

Revolutionary Guards aerospace commander General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said the new Khoramshahr missile has a range of 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) and can carry multiple warheads.

Tehran does insist that its missiles are for conventional warheads and can reach 2,000km, but commanders say they have the technology to go further.

That makes them only medium-range but still sufficient to reach Israel or US bases in the Gulf.

As well as carrying out missile tests, Iran has also launched a space satellite and fired missiles at Islamic State group targets in eastern Syria in recent months.

Iran is caught in an arms race with regional rival Saudi Arabia, while nemesis Israel have been increasingly bellicose in their language against Tehran under Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Agencies contributed to this story.