Iran celebrates anniversary of Islamic Revolution with new cruise missile

Iran’s defense minister says that the new missile hit its target.

By AP and World Israel News staff

Iran’s Ministry of Defense has published a video purportedly showing the launch of a new cruise missile, saying it has a 1,350-kilometer (840-mile) range.

In the 37-second video on the ministry website, the launch was shown from different angles with the projectile finally hitting somewhere in the desert.

Iran has missile capability of up to 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), far enough to reach Israel and U.S. military bases in the region.

Defense Minister Gen. Amir Hatami said the missile hit its target in the Saturday test after traveling 1,200 kilometers (745 miles). He said it is capable of hitting fixed targets and traveling at low altitude for use in waging electronic war.

Since 1992, Iran has developed a self-sufficient military weapons program, producing mortars to missiles.

Occasionally, Iran announces military achievements that cannot be independently verified. This launch was announced amid celebrations marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, state television reported.

The festivities start every year on February 1 – the day Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned home from France after 14 years in exile to become the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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Across Iran, sirens wailed from trains and boats on Friday, while church bells tolled at 9:33 a.m. – the exact time that Khomeini’s chartered Air France Boeing 747 touched down 40 years ago at Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport.

The festivities, known as the “Ten Days of Dawn,” conclude on February 11, the date on which Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s government collapsed after brief clashes between some army units and revolutionary gunmen, following nationwide protests.

Last year, the Trump administration pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers that was said to have been aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of economic sanctions. The U.S. re-imposed its sanctions in November.

Germany, France, and Britain, which have worked to preserve the nuclear deal, announced Thursday that they have established a new system to allow their companies to continue trading with Iran without incurring U.S. penalties for doing so.