Iran unveils new long-range ballistic missile

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at the United Nations General Assembly on September 20, 2017. ( UNTV via CNN Newsource)

WASHINGTON — Iran unveiled a new ballistic missile on Friday, as the country’s president stepped up the pressure on the US by defending its right to strengthen military defenses.

The new weapon, called the Khorramshahr missile, which was shown at a military parade, has a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) and can carry multiple warheads, Tasnim, a semi-official news agency reported on Friday.

That would make it capable of reaching Israel and Saudi Arabia from southern Iran.

Speaking during the parade, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran would press ahead with strengthening its missile capabilities and military defenses, the state-run broadcaster Press TV reported.

“We will promote our defensive and military power as much as we deem necessary,” Rouhani said. “We seek no one’s permission to defend our land.”

“Whether you like it or not we are going to help Syria, Yemen and Palestine, and we will strengthen our missiles,” he added.

Rouhani said the US and Israel have isolated themselves by opposing the 2015 nuclear agreement. He added that Iran remains fully committed to the agreement, Press TV reported.

The US extended sanctions relief for Iran last week as part of the agreement between Iran and the other major powers, which President Donald Trump has described as “the worst deal ever.”

It was mainly a procedural move, but it was significant, as re-imposing nuclear-related sanctions could lead to Iran ending its compliance with the deal and reverting back to rapid uranium enrichment — something Iran has threatened to do if the US reneges on its end of this bargain.

The next major deadline comes in October, when President Trump will decide whether to certify that Iran is complying with the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). If he does not, Congress has 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions waived under the deal.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday said that although the 2015 Iran deal was not perfect, the international community should stick with it or risk facing another situation like North Korea.

In an interview with CNN, he called for a new agreement to monitor Iran’s new missile development.

“We have to work in order to have a monitoring process on the ballistic activity of Iran.” he told CNN. “That is a concern for the whole region.”