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Iran defies United States, tests missile

26 September 2017

Iran showed off a new missile, named Khoramshahr after a southwestern city, at an anniversary military parade in the capital.

The Khorramshahr missile was paraded, despite warnings from the U.S. against Iran's weapons program, in the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and senior military leaders.

Iran has said all of its missiles are created to carry conventional warheads only and has limited their range to a maximum of 2,000km, although commanders have said they have the technology to go further.

The ballistic missile is capable of carrying multiple warheads, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Division, told the media on Friday.

Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Saturday that the missile test was "not just a provocation and an act of defiance directed at the USA and its allies, including Israel, it is also further proof of Iran's aspirations to become a world power and to threaten not just the Middle East but all the countries of the free world".

"We will increase our military power as a deterrent". If, as now appears increasingly likely, he decides that it is not, it could open the way for renewed U.S. sanctions and perhaps the collapse of the agreement.

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What's new, he said, is that Iran says its ballistic missiles can carry multiple warheads and maybe several cluster bombs. The military will be strengthened to the extent that Iran considers necessary, he added. It said Iran released footage of the test-launch.

That makes them only medium-range, which is still sufficient to reach Israel or United States bases in the Persian Gulf.

Speaking a day later, Rouhani said the Iranian people are waiting for an apology from Trump for his "extremely offensive" rhetoric and "unfounded" allegations about Iran.

Trump will report to Congress on 15 October on whether he believes Iran was in compliance of the agreement and whether it remains in the US' interests to stick by it.

Washington has called on Tehran not to get involved in activities linked to nuclear missiles.

President Donald Trump has threatened to junk the agreement over the issue, saying that Iran's missile programme could give it the technical knowhow for a delivery system for a nuclear warhead with the expiration of a sunset clause in the deal in 2025.