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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid