As the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution approaches, Iran unveiled in a live broadcast its new long-range cruise missile, named the Hoveyzeh (after the city in the Khuzestan province that was almost completely destroyed during the Iran-Iraq War and is perceived as a symbol of heroism and sacrifice). The missile was shown off as part of a large exhibit displaying more than 300 weapons and “advanced technology” (including missiles, drones, ammunition, aircraft, and naval weaponry) run by the Iranian Defense Industries Organization.1 During the “Decade of Dawn,” (February 1-11, 2019) which commemorates the period of the anniversary of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s landing in Iran (on February 1, 1979) until the date of the actual Iranian Revolution (on February 11, 1979), Iran will show off its technological achievements in various fields, including that of the military.
Iranian Defense Minister Amir Khatami presented the cruise missile, which has a range of 1,350 km against ground targets. According to him, the cruise missile flies at a low altitude, has an accurate navigation system, is solid fueled so it can be launched quickly, and has a powerful destructive capability. Khatami stated that the cruise missile was successfully tested at 1,200 km, striking its targets with extreme accuracy. He added that this cruise missile is the next generation of such weapons, after the Somar, which has a range of 700 km, and it has increased Iran’s defense capabilities.
Various media channels in Iran reported that the cruise missile will be transferred to the Aerospace Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and the Defense Ministry even publicized an undated video of the launch of the missile.2 The cruise missile was created by the Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), which is under the jurisdiction of the Defense Industries Organization (DIO). Also present at the ceremony was the commander of the Aerospace Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Amir Ali Hajizadeh.
Khatami added, “In a world where international rights and agreements are trampled, healthy logic instructs us to protect our interests and national security… There is no limit to the determination and strength of will of the Iranian people in the field of defense, and as Supreme Commander of the Army (Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei) has said, every threat will get a suitable response of equal value.”
The Fars news agency reported on a new generation of ballistic missiles called the Khorramshahr-2. This ballistic missile reaches a range of 2,000 km, and they are guided until the moment it hits the target. The news agency added that each missile could carry several warheads weighing three tons.3 Previously, the Emad, Qadr, and Qiam warheads were attached to the ballistic missiles. The first generation of Khorramshahr missiles was unveiled during 2017.4
At the same time, Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi stated during events marking the national day for space technology on February 3, 2019, that Iran intends to launch the Dosti (meaning “friendship”) satellite in the next few weeks. This follows the failure of the previous satellite launch on January 15. “Soon, the Iranian voice will again be heard in space,” he said. According to Jahromi, the construction of another Iranian satellite will be completed by September. This one is called the “Zafar (victory)” satellite.
Jahromi rejected Western accusations that Iran’s satellite project is connected to its ballistic missiles program, and he stated, “They are lying when they say that the satellite program is connected to the missile program.” He added that Iran could improve its activities in many civilian fields thanks to its space and satellite program.
As part of this display, the commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard continued to issue threats against Israel and the Western world based on Iran’s missile program. Gen. Hossein Salami, second-in-command of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, called upon the countries of the West “not to hold any debate on the issue of Iran’s missile program and not even to give Iran any advice on the matter of its capability in the missiles field.” He threatened that if the western countries choose to limit Iran’s missile program, it would “have no other choice than to expand it and to make a strategic leap in this field.”
“Israel Will Be Obliterated before the United States Can Help It”
Regarding Israel, in an interview on Iranian national TV, Salami repeated a series of threats recently issued by the Iranian National Guard’s higher ranks, that if Israel continues to incite conflict in the region, this will lead to its destruction. According to him, Israel is trying to breach the balance of power in the region and is taking tactical actions to blow up several ammunition stores in Syria to compensate for its “psychological fears… We are telling them, ‘Don’t play with fire…. Your capabilities are not even close to our Operation Jerusalem (Beit al-Moqaddas)… (Israel) will be completely obliterated before the United States can help it.’”5 Operation Jerusalem (Emliyat Beit al-Moqaddas) was the operation in which Iran liberated the city of Khorramshahr and pushed the Iraqi forces back over the border in a combination of two additional operations: Tariq al-Qods (the Way to Jerusalem) and Fath-al-Mobin (Clear Victory).
Later, Solami clarified the statement of the Defense Minister, warning, “Iran’s (defense) strategy is the only one that dictates its order of priorities with regard to anything connected to the development of its capabilities and technology in the field of missiles. … Our defense doctrine can change in accordance with the conduct of the other players (countries).” Salami added that Iran is not faced by any technological limitations regarding the range of the missiles, their accuracy, their activation system, or the power of their destruction.
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