TEHRAN, Feb 9, (AP): Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has unveiled a new ballistic missile, the country’s state TV reported Sunday, amid heightened tensions with the US. Iran routinely unveils what it describes as technological advances for its armed forces ahead of the February anniversary of its 1979 Islamic Revolution.
State television said the missile, called Raad-500, or thunder, had half the weight of a similar ballistic missile, Fateh-110, but had 200 kms (some 120 miles) more range. The fourth generation of Fateh-110 has 300 kms (some 180 miles) range. The Guard also unveiled a new missile engine that uses solid fuel and a satellite carrier that has “movable nozzle technology.” The technology increases a missile’s accuracy in hitting targets.
The US alleges such activities defy a UN Security Council resolution calling on Iran to undertake no activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Iran fired a barrage of ballistic missiles at a military base in Iraq housing American troops in January, after a US drone strike killed its top general Qassem Soleimani outside Baghdad.
An Iranian rocket, meanwhile, failed to put a satellite into orbit on Sunday, state television reported, the latest setback for a program the US claims helps Tehran advance its ballistic missile program. The launch happened at Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran’s Semnan province, some 230 kms (145 miles) southeast of Iran’s capital, Tehran.