Iran shows off new ballistic missile at military parade

By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |   Sept. 22, 2017 at 9:05 AM
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Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Amid growing tensions between the United States and North Korea, Iran's military unveiled a new ballistic missile at a parade in Tehran on Friday.

Thousands in the Iranian capital got a glimpse of the new Khorramshahr missile, which Tehran says is capable of carrying nuclear warheads more than 1,200 miles.

"The missile has become smaller in size and more tactical, and it will be operational in the near future," Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Division, said.

At the event, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stressed that the country's military power has been used only in acts of defense, despite what he called the export of deadly weapons by foreign powers to the Middle East.

He was also unapologetic about showcasing Iran's military might.

"We will promote our defensive and military power as much as we deem necessary," Rouhani said. "We seek no one's permission to defend our land."

Rouhani, who has long expressed a desire to improve relations with the United States, was critical of President Donald Trump's speech at the United Nations Tuesday -- in which he threatened force against North Korea and denounced the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

He also criticized remarks from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying the United States and Israel have isolated themselves from global opinion in their opposition to the Obama-era agreement -- which limits Tehran's nuclear activities to the laboratory in exchange for lifting U.S.-imposed economic sanctions.

"I am very glad that this year at the United Nations and among all the countries of the world, there were only two voices, which were opposed to that of the people of the world," Rouhani said. "The U.S. and the occupying regime of [Jerusalem] were the only two voices, which were different from the voice of the entire world."

Rouhani also said Iran is still fully committed to the nuclear deal.

The parade in Tehran Friday was one of many across Iran, marking the annual Sacred Defense Week. It commemorates the start of the eight-year war with Iraq in 1980.

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