TEHRAN: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on Sunday unveiled a new naval ballistic missile with a potential range of over 700 kilometres (430 miles), local media reported, following months of tensions with the arch-enemy United States.
The missile, dubbed “Zolfaghar Basir”, is a naval variant of the surface-to-surface Zolfaghar ballistic missile, according to Tasnim news agency.
Its range is more than twice that of the Islamic republic’s other naval missiles, including “Hormuz-2”, with a range of 300km which, Tehran said, it had successfully tested in March 2017.
The news agency did not specify whether or not the new missile has been tested yet. Images published by it showed Zolfaghar Basir installed on a launcher truck during the inauguration of Tehran’s National Aerospace Park on Sunday.
“This exhibition shows the comprehensive plan of the deterrent power of the (Islamic republic’s) system,” Revolutionary Guards commander Maj Gen Hossein Salami said at the inauguration, according to Tasnim.
The Revolutionary Guards used the Zolfaghar in 2017 and 2018 against the Islamic State militant group in Syria in retaliation for terrorist attacks carried out in the country.
The missile was also used in January to target bases in Iraq housing US troops, according to IRNA news agency, days after the US killed Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad.
The unveiling of Zolfaghar Basir comes more than a week after an American aircraft carrier crossed the strategic Strait of Hormuz, and days after the Revolutionary Guards opened a new naval base near the waterway, through which a fifth of the world’s oil passes.
Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2020