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Middle East

Iran announces missile breakthrough

Tehran says it has perfected multiple-warhead, medium-range ballistic missiles designed specifically to hit US bases.

Last updated: 05 Mar 2014 17:30
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Iran said the new models ushered in a new era of missile technology [AP]

Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard said it had acquired missiles with multiple warheads, the latest armaments advance to be claimed by the country.

At a ceremony held on Wednesday, Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan announced four types of ballistic missiles named Qiam, Qadr H1, Fateh-110 and Persian Gulf.

The Qadr H1 and Qiam, he said, were equipped with multiple warheads, greatly boosting their destructive power.

"These missiles are able to hit and destroy enemy targets with precision, and they meet a variety of the armed forces' needs," Dehghan said.

"The weapons have strengthened Iran's deterrence power and military might," he added, in comments posted on the Guard's website.

The semi-official Fars news agency said the medium-range Qiam missile was developed from work by General Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, the father of Iran's missile programme who died in a testing accident in 2011.

Fars said Qiam was specifically built to target US bases in the region, which he said have encircled Iran. With a range of 800km, the six-tonne missile has been described in Iranian media as ushering in a new era of ballistic missile production for the country.

"It sums up the country's 25-year defence industry experience in aerospace. Qiam's wingless design is one of the characteristics that gives it greater speed and the capability to be launched from various launchers," Fars said.

The liquid-fuel Qiam is 16m long and its warhead has a weight of 746kg, Fars added.

Iran regularly announces breakthroughs in military technology that are impossible to independently verify. 

Dehghan said Western sanctions have not stopped Iran from boosting its ability to deter its enemies, a reference to Israel and the US.

"Comprehensive sanctions enforced strictly by enemies ... didn't cause the slightest crack in our determination and will," he said.

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AP
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