Tehran, 22 Aug – Iran on Saturday unveiled a new surface-to-surface missile it said could strike targets with pin-point accuracy within a range of 500 km (310 miles).
The Iranian Defence Ministry’s unveiling of the solid-fuel missile, named Fateh 313, came little more than a month after Iran and world powers reached a deal that requires Tehran to abide by new limits on its nuclear programme in return for Western governments easing economic sanctions.
According to that deal, any transfer to Iran of ballistic missile technology during the next eight years will be subject to the approval of the United Nations Security Council, and the United States has promised to veto any such requests. An arms embargo on conventional weapons also stays, preventing their import and export for five years.
But Iran has said it will not follow parts of the nuclear deal that restricts its military capabilities, a stance reaffirmed by President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday.
“We will buy, sell and develop any weapons we need and we will not ask for permission or abide by any resolution for that”, he said in a speech at the unveiling ceremony broadcast live on state television. “And we will sell weapons to anywhere we deem necessary”.
The Defence Ministry said the Fateh 313 had already been successfully tested and that mass production would start soon.
State television showed footage of the missile being fired from an undisclosed location. The missile is a newer version of Fateh-110 and has a quicker launch capability, a longer lifespan and can strike targets with pinpoint accuracy within 500 kilometres, the report said.
Iran has one of the largest missile programs in the Middle East.
“In our aerospace industry we have various ballistic missiles with different ranges under production”, Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan said on Friday.
“We will continue this path with maximum power in line with our defensive needs and proportionate to threats ahead of us”.
A senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said on Friday Iran would hold a large ballistic missile manoeuvre in the near future.
“Some wrongly think Iran has suspended its ballistic missile programs in the last two years and has made a deal on its missile program … We will have a new ballistic missile test in the near future that will be a thorn in the eyes of our enemies”, the commander of the aerospace division of the IRGC, Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh, said on Friday.