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Iran unveils missile with 900-mile range

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The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps released this photo Wednesday showing surface-to-surface Khaibar-buster missiles displayed in an undisclosed location in Iran.  Photo by IRGC/EPA-EFE
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps released this photo Wednesday showing surface-to-surface Khaibar-buster missiles displayed in an undisclosed location in Iran.  Photo by IRGC/EPA-EFE

Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Iran unveiled a new missile on Wednesday with a reported range that would put Israel and U.S. bases in the region within reach.

Iran state TV reported that the missiles -- called Khaibar Shekan in reference to a Jewish castle overrun by Muslim warriors -- use solid fuels and have ranges of 900 miles.

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The domestically manufactured missile is highly accurate, state media said, and can defeat missile shield systems.

The news comes as negotiations continue in Vienna over Iran's nuclear weapons capabilities and attempts to revive a deal with world leaders to deter them.

RELATED Lt. Gen. Kurilla says Iran a top concern for CENTCOM at Senate confirmation hearing

Iran has said its missile program is only a deterrent.

Last month, Iran tested an engine for a solid-fuel rocket designed to launch satellites. Solid-fuel rockets are mainly associated with ballistic missiles systems.

On Tuesday, Lt. Gen. Michael Kurilla, appearing in the Senate for a confirmation hearing to lead U.S. Central Command, said Iran remains the top Middle East threat and should never possess nuclear weapons.

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"Iran is the No. 1 destabilizing factor in the Middle East right now with their malign behavior," Kurilla said. "I think going through our partners and allies and strengthening those with a united front with all of our partners and allies is the best way to confront them."

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CENTCOM's area of responsibility includes the Middle East, Egypt in Africa, Central Asia and parts of South Asia.

Meanwhile, North Korea has had a record month for launching missiles, boasting Tuesday that its weapons tests set "the world atremble" and warned that the United States is "in the firing range" of the reclusive state's nuclear arsenal.

RELATED North Korea says U.S. mainland is 'in the firing range'

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