News / Middle East

Iran Announces Test-Firing of New Qiam Missile

Multimedia

Audio

Iran's defense minister Ahmad Vahidi is saying Friday that Tehran has test-fired a new surface-to-surface missile called the Qiam-1. The announcement comes amid a flurry of alleged new military developments in recent days, as Iran prepares to launch its new Bushehr nuclear plant Saturday.

Iranian government TV showed the test-launch of a new surface-to-surface missile Friday, which its defense minister is calling a "new class" of missile with increased capabilities.

Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi explains that the new Qiam-1 missile has many improvements over its predecessors.

He says that the Qiam-1 missile is a new class of solid-fuel missile and he claims that it is better than older missiles because it has a better guidance system and that it can be operated faster and under more varied circumstances. He also claims that the missile is capable of evading enemy interception.

Iranian TV showed the missile launch sequence at least five times from different angles from what appeared to be a desert location. Defense Minister Vahidi did not indicate when the test-firing actually took place, nor the exact range of the new missile.

The test-firing was hyped by state media, along with news about Saturday's launch of Iran's new Russian-built Bushehr nuclear reactor. Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said recently that any possible Israeli attack on the plant would have to come before it was launched.

Iranian-born analyst Alex Vatanka of the Middle East Institute in Washington argues that it's impossible to verify that the Qiam-1 is a new class of missile, and that Iran's decision not to provide many details about it suggest the launch is part of a psychological war with the West.

"When you consider the fact that in terms of technical information that we have available to say that this is actually a new class of missile - this is newsworthy - we don't have that," he said. "Which means that this is really a political gesture, posturing on the part of the Iranians, which they seem to believe is necessary, because overall they believe that they're involved in a big psychological war with the West and they're saying 'look, we can play a bit of this psychological war game, too.'"

Iranian defense industry officials have announced many alleged new weapons systems in recent days, amid great fanfare on Iranian TV. These alleged developments include a new and faster speedboat, new locally-built aircraft engines, a new drone, and new shallow-water submarines.

Iranian military commanders went so far recently as to show pictures of what they were calling "mass grave plots" in which to bury U.S. soldiers, in the event of an attack on their country. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei also said during a speech Wednesday night that an attack would be countered on a variety of levels, and in different places.

Alex Vatanka thinks that the Iranians are trying to scare the West, along with many of their smaller Gulf neighbors, so that they do not participate in a possible attack on Iran.

"The Iranians have been saying it for years: anybody who is complicit in an attack on Iran in the eyes of Tehran is good to be hit," he said. "They didn't mention states by name, but they pretty much said, if you are providing a base for any American aircraft to take off and come and bomb us, your base, be it in Qatar, be it in Oman, is good for us to hit back."

Qatar, which shares a large gas field with Iran, has long tried to balance its relations with both Iran and the U.S. to which it leases the large al Udeid airbase, outside the capital Doha. Qatar's Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabir al Thani, was shown Friday on Iranian TV meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Secret Service Head: White House Security Lapse 'Unacceptable'

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid