Iran has unveiled a new missile that is capable of hitting nearby US bases and targets within its arch-enemy Israel.
The Khaibar-buster, a reference to a Jewish castle overrun by Muslim warriors led by Prophet Mohammed in the early days of Islam, has a range of 900 miles and runs on solid fuel, state media reported.
The missile has high accuracy, is manufactured completely domestically, and can defeat missile shield systems, the report said, although this information has not been independently verified.
Armed forces chief of staff Mohammad Bagheri described it as a strategic, ‘long-range’ missile.
He said during the unveiling: ‘The enemies of the Revolution and the Islamic Republic do not understand anything but the language of power and force’.
It was unveiled during a visit to a surface-to-surface missile base of the Guards’ air force, with the chief of the aerospace department Amirali Hajizadeh present.
Israel’s closest point to Iran is 620 miles away, and Iran has missiles that can travel up to 1,250 miles.
Iran has the largest arsenal of missiles in the Middle East.
On December 24, the Islamic republic fired 16 ballistic missiles to conclude military drills described by generals as a warning to Israel.
Bagheri said on Monday that Iran was ‘self-sufficient in terms of military equipment’, noting it could become one of the world’s largest arms exporters if US sanctions were lifted.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) says Iran has about 20 types of ballistic missiles as well as cruise missiles and drones.
Their capabilities vary, with the Qiam-1 having a range of 500 miles and the Ghadr-1 able to reach 1,100 miles.
The IISS, a London-based think tank, says Iran’s current priority is to increase the accuracy of its missiles.
The report comes as negotiations continue in Vienna to revive Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers.
Earlier in January Iran tested an engine for a solid-fuel rocket designed to launch satellites.
Satellite carriers usually use liquid fuel but solid-fuel rockets can be adapted for mobile launchers that can be driven anywhere on a major road or rail system. Pure solid-fuel rockets are mostly associated with ballistic missiles systems.