Iran flaunts missile, weapon upgrades

DUBAI - Iran unveiled upgrades to six weapons on Tuesday, including a more accurate short-range missile and a more powerful naval engine, Iranian media reported, in what seemed to be its latest response to international pressure over its nuclear programme.



By (Reuters)

Published: Tue 21 Aug 2012, 9:33 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 2:00 PM

The hardware was presented at a ceremony marking Defence Industry Day and attended by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi.

Israel has said it is considering air strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites if the Islamic Republic does not resolve Western fears it is developing the means to produce atomic weapons, something the Islamic Republic denies.

Iran says it could hit Israel and US bases in the region if it comes under attack.

It has also threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz through which 40 per cent of the world’s sea-borne oil exports pass. Such a move would probably invite a military response from the United States.

Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that Iran’s military advances are purely for defensive purposes and should not be taken as a threat, but said they would dissuade world powers from imposing their will on Iran.

“Defensive advances are meant to defend human integrity, and are not meant to be offensive moves toward others,” Ahmadinejad said, according to Mehr news agency.

“I have no doubt that our defensive capabilities can stand up to bullying and put a halt to their plans.” The US has also not ruled out military action against Iran but says the priority of world powers remains the use of diplomacy and sanctions to rein in its nuclear activity.

Among the upgrades was a fourth generation of the Fateh-110 missile, which boasts a range of about 300 kilometres.

Iran said earlier this month that it had successfully test-fired the new model and that it was equipped with a more accurate guidance system.

“This missile is one of the most precise and advanced land-to-land ballistic missiles using solid fuel,” Vahidi was quoted as saying by Fars news agency. “In the last decade it has had a significant role in promoting the Islamic Republic of Iran’s defence capabilities.”

In July, Iran said it had successfully test-fired medium-range missiles capable of hitting Israel, and tested dozens of missiles aimed at simulated air bases.

It also presented a more powerful, 5,000-horsepower sea-borne engine, the Bonyan-4, Fars quoted Vahidi as saying. A previous version had 1,000 horsepower, the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) said.

Experts have cast doubt on Iran’s claims of weapons advances, especially its assertions about its missile programme.


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