Iran’s aggressive weapons development supports the U.S. position that it is the main threat to the stability of the region.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
Iran unveiled two new missiles on Thursday, one named after U.S.-assassinated Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and the other after a deputy who was killed with him.
Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami says the “Martyr Haj Qassem” missile is a surface-to-surface, mid-range missile capable of reaching 1,400 kilometers.
“The country’s achievements in the defense industry over the past four decades are not comparable to any other period,” said Hatami, according to PressTV, a semi-official Iranian news site. He added they are a “basis for military self-reliance and a must for [maintaining] the country’s independence.”
The second missile, “Martyr Abu Mahdi,” is named after Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the commander of the Khataib Hezbollah militia, who was killed along with Gen. Soleimani and a number of others in the U.S. targeted killing near the Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.
The “Martyr Abu Mahdi” is a cruise missile with a range of more than a 1,000 kilometers.
Iran’s aggressive weapons development supports the U.S. position that it is the main threat to the stability of the region. This view is shared by the Gulf States and Israel.
The Trump administration, in an effort to rein in Iran’s regional ambitions, pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions. President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday his intention to invoke a “snapback” mechanism that would bring UN sanctions against Iran back into play as well.
The U.S. operation to assassinate Soleimani appears to have badly damaged Iran’s capabilities. Soleimani was credited with playing a key role in Iran’s strategy and had developed close personal ties with the leaders of Iran’s terror proxies in the region. The country hasn’t yet found a replacement of his stature.
On Jan. 8, Trump said that Soleimani had “viciously wounded and murdered thousands of U.S. troops, including the planting of roadside bombs that maim and dismember their victims.”
“Soleimani directed the recent attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq that badly wounded four service members and killed one American, and he orchestrated the violent assault on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. In recent days, he was planning new attacks on American targets, but we stopped him,” Trump said.
Iran has vowed to take revenge for Soleimani’s killing and has even put a bounty on the president’s head.