Iran Unveils ‘Hoveizeh’ Long-range Cruise Missile – Sunday, 3 February, 2019 – ASHARQ AL AWSAT London – Adil Al-Salmi

Two days after the European measure to preserve the nuclear deal, Iran revealed a new missile, as Defense Minister Amir Hatami announced a successful new cruise missile with a range of 1,300 km on Saturday during celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

“The test of the Hoveizeh cruise missile was carried out successfully at a range of 1,200 kilometers and accurately hit the set target,” Hatami was quoted on state television during the unveiling ceremony.“It can be ready in the shortest possible time and flies at a very low altitude.”Head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) aerospace division Amirali Hajizadeh said Iran had overcome initial problems in producing jet engines for cruise missiles and could now manufacture a full range of the weapons.

In December, Hajizadeh indicated that Iran’s missiles cover a range of 2,000 kilometers, “we have the ability to build missiles with a broader range… We do not have limitations from a technical perspective or by conventions with regard to missile range.”

He added that many enemy bases are within 300-400 kilometers and some others in 700-800 kilometers away from Iran, saying, the missile ranges are decided based on the country’s defensive needs.

Last week, several Iranian officials discussed the restructuring of the military strategy and “moving from defense to attack” coinciding with the European categorical rejection to negotiate missiles.These statements were made specifically by the chief of staff, Mohammed Baqari, and the advisor to the Iranian Religious Leader Rahim Safavi

Iran has no intention of increasing the range of its missiles, the country’s Supreme National Security Council secretary, Admiral Ali Shamkhani, said Tuesday.“Iran has no scientific or operational restriction for increasing the range of its military missiles, but based on its defensive doctrine, it is continuously working on increasing the precision of the missiles, and has no intention to increase their range.”Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, IRGC top commander, threatened Israel with “guided” missiles and warned it “was playing with lion’s tail.”“You should be afraid of the day that our precision-guided missiles roar and fall on your head.”

Paris announced last week it would impose sanctions if no progress was achieved in the current negotiations over the missile program.The announcement comes two days after Britain, France and Germany launched a mechanism to ease non-dollar business deals with Iran, an effort aimed at circumventing US trade sanctions against Tehran after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 international pact to curtail Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Last month, Iran ignored US warnings and launched a satellite into space. The launch followed a US warning to Iran against undertaking three planned rocket launches that Washington said would violate a United Nations Security Council resolution.

The resolution, which enshrined Iran’s nuclear deal, called upon Tehran to refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons.Iran says its missile tests are not in violation of the resolution and denies its missiles are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Last September, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani said that the enemies are angry at Iran’s missiles which means that missiles are the country’s most effective weapons, noting, “Therefore, with their remarks, we understand the value of our missiles more.”

Minister Hatami said that Iran’s defense power “bears a message of peace and friendship”, and is in line with protecting security.However, Reuters reported Western experts saying Iran often exaggerates its weapons capabilities, although there are concerns about its long-range ballistic missiles.

The new surface-to-surface missile, Hoveizeh, is from the Soumar family of cruise missiles, which were unveiled in 2015. It is named after the Iraqi border town which was damaged during the Iraqi-Iranian war. It is populated by Arabs and they complain of lack of services and development 30 years after the war ended.