Iran has unveiled a ballistic missile reportedly capable of carrying nuclear warheads and with a sufficient range to reach Israel or U.S. military bases in the Gulf.
The Qadr H missile was put on display during military parades held in the capital Tehran this weekend to celebrate the 39th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The unveiling of the Qadr H and several other short-range missiles on Sunday was seen as a show of defiance of Western pressure on Iran to curb its ballistic missile programme.
Fire power: A surface-to-surface missile is displayed by Iranian Revolutionary Guard during a rally marking the 39th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday
The Qadr H ‘can be launched from mobile platforms or silos in different positions and can escape missile defense shields due to their radar-evading capability,’ FARS News Agency reports.
Experts speaking to U.S. website Free Beacon stated.the Qadr H is nuclear-capable and ‘appears to share similarities with North Korean technology’.
Iran has previously maintained that all of its missiles are designed to carry conventional warheads only and has limited their range to a maximum of 2,000 kilometres, although commanders say they have the technology to go further.
That makes them only medium-range but still sufficient to reach Israel or US bases in the Gulf.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gestures as members of Iranian armed forces take part in a rally marking the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, in Tehran on Sunday
Protest: An Iranian girl holds a placard reading ‘down with U.S.A. and ‘down with Israel’ during a ceremony marking the 39th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Tehran
Flag burning: Iranians burn Israeli and British flags in the Azadi (Freedom) square during the celebrations in Tehran on Sunday
Iran, which fought a brutal war with neighbouring Iraq in the 1980s, sees missiles as a legitimate and vital part of its defence – particularly as regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Israel import huge amounts of military hardware from the West.
The military display took place on Sunday, the day after after Israel intercepted an Iranian drone launched from Syria, a claim denied by Tehran.
That prompted Israel jets to strike a region in Syria that Iranian forces are known to occupy, with one being shot down as it returned to Israel. Both pilots escaped, but one was badly injured.
It marked the first time an Israeli jet has been lost in combat since 1982.
Following the loss of the jet, Israel stated.it carried out strikes that destroyed 12 military sites, including four allegedly occupied by Iranian forces.
On Sunday, Israel issued stark warnings over Iran’s presence in neighbouring Syria, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying Israel ‘will not stop to harm anyone who tries to harm us.’