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Iran Announces Production of New Cruise Missile

Iran Announces Production of New Cruise Missile

Iran Announces Production of New Cruise Missile

Iran Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi says his country is producing a new short-range missile capable of evading radar.

Iranian state TV reported with great fanfare that Tehran has begun to produce a new short-range cruise missile it claims is extremely accurate and capable of evading radar.

The report showed stacks of compact white and blue missiles, emblazoned with the name Nasr 1, and it offered footage of a brief launch sequence. Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi painted a glowing picture of the new missile.

He says the missile is very accurate, is powerful and is able under variable maritime conditions to hit its target with accuracy.

Vahidi says the missile is capable of destroying targets of up to 3,000 tons and that it will be modified from its current surface version so it may be fired from helicopters and submarines.

Analyst Meir Javedanfar of the MEEPAS center in Tel Aviv says he thinks the Iranians are concerned by reports of recent Israeli military activities.

"The Iranian government is currently very worried about unconfirmed reports regarding the passing of two Israeli warships in the Suez Canal," Javedanfar said. "This is in addition to other reports in the Tehran-based Asr Iran publication, which talks about Israeli officials saying that they have got permission from other Arab countries to launch an attack against Iran if they decide to do so, and I think the Iranians want to create some kind of deterrence against Israel in order to dissuade Jerusalem from launching an attack."

Editor Alex Vatanka of Janes' Islamic Affairs Analyst thinks the Iranians are probably using the series of recent defense announcements to scare their Gulf State neighbors more than anyone else.

"The message here really is not (aimed) at the United States, because the Iranians are not stupid, they know there is a massive disparity when it comes to armed forces capabilities between the United States and Iran. Their targeted audience is particularly the Gulf States. They are saying to them, 'We have a capacity to hit any of our neighbors who might decide to collaborate with the United States," Vatanka said

Iran said last month it had launched a satellite into space carrying several worms, a mouse and a turtle.