Iran presents its missile amid concerns

Iran on Thursday unveiled what it described as the new model of its Khorramshahr liquid-fueled ballistic missile, amid rising tensions with the West over its nuclear program.

Authorities showed the Khorramshahr-4 to the press at an event in Tehran, where the missile was shown in a launcher attached to a truck. Defense Minister Gen. Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said the missile requires little preparation time before it is launched.

successful launch

The missile has a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) and a warhead of 1,500 kilograms (3,300 pounds), according to Iranian authorities. They also posted undated videos purporting to show a successful launch of the missile.

The Khorramshahr-4 is named after an Iranian city where heavy fighting took place during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. The missile is also named Kheibar, after a Jewish fortress conquered by Muslims in the 7th century in the which is now Saudi Arabia.

Regional tensions were likely to have played a role in the Iranian presentation on Thursday. Next to the mobile launch system was a miniature of the Dome of the Rock in the Al Aqsa Mosque complex in Jerusalem, a disputed holy place of worship for Jews and Muslims, and which Jews call the Temple Mount.

Iran views Israel as its arch-enemy and arms anti-Israel militant groups in the Palestinian territories and surrounding countries. Tensions between the two countries are considerable, especially as Iran enriches uranium closer to weapons-grade levels. The Khorramshahr would have the range to reach Israel.

the number four

However, it was not clear why the projectile had been given the number Khorramshahr-4, as only two other variants of the missile are publicly known. It is based on the North Korean Musudan ballistic missile.

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said Washington was aware of the report and reiterated that Iran’s “development and proliferation of ballistic missiles poses a serious threat to regional and international security.”

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