Iran Shows Off New Ballistic Missile Capable Of Hitting Israel With Large Payload
Iran on Thursday showcased a new long-range ballistic missile at a moment tensions with Israel are at their highest in years. A Jerusalem Post headline on the same day reads, “Mounting tensions between Israel, Iran herald possible military showdown”.
Iran’s military touted that the Khoramshahr-4 missile can strike targets up to 2,000 kilometres, or 1,240 miles, away. It’s also said to be capable of carrying a 1,500-kilogram (or 3,300-pound), warhead. This would make it the heaviest warhead among all of Iran’s ballistic missiles. The military also released undated footage of what they said was a successful test launch of the new missile.
“Our message to Iran’s enemies is that we will defend the country and its achievements. Our message to our friends is that we want to help regional stability,” Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said.
The test launch appears to be a direct challenge to Israel, given that while unveiling it at a press event the defence ministry had set up a miniature model of the Dome of the Rock on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, according to an Associated Press description.
Iran and regional Arab states have recently expressed outrage at Israeli police crackdowns on Muslims at al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as security services allowing far-right Jewish groups to march through Jerusalem chanting “death to Arabs”.
Against this backdrop and the recent conflict in Gaza, Israeli officials have this week warned the military could take “action” against Iran’s advancing nuclear program:
“Iran has progressed in recent years with enriching uranium more than ever before,” he said. “We are looking closely at the various arenas that are part of the path to nuclear capabilities. There are negative potential trends on the horizon that could lead to [us] acting. We have the capabilities.”
Halevi further accused Iran of being involved in “everything around us and with everyone who is against us,” including strategy, intelligence, and funding. “We have the capability to strike Iran. We are not aloof to what Iran is trying to do around us. Iran also cannot be aloof to what we can do against it.” As for the Khoramshahr-4 missile, the AP underscores that it is capable of hitting Israel while carrying a large payload.
“The Khorramshahr has the heaviest payload of Iran’s ballistic missile fleet, which analysts say may be designed to keep the weapon under a 2,000-kilometer range limit imposed by the country’s supreme leader. That puts most of the Mideast in range, but falls short of Western Europe,” the report says.