Iran has developed a cruise missile with a range of 1,650 kilometres, a top Revolutionary Guards commander said on Friday, in a move likely to raise Western concerns after Russia’s use of Iranian drones in the Ukraine war.
- The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards aerospace force says Iran has developed a cruise missile with a 1,650-kilometre range
- The Pentagon in November said it was sceptical of claims made by the same IRGC commander regarding Iranian missiles
- The commander separately reiterated Iran’s desire to assassinate Donald Trump in revenge for a 2020 drone strike
Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace force, also separately spoke of Iran’s often repeated threat to avenge the US killing of a top Iranian commander, saying “We are looking to kill [former US president Donald] Trump.”
“Our cruise missile with a range of 1,650 kilometres has been added to the missile arsenal of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Brigadier-General Hajizadeh told state TV.
The station then broadcast what it said was the first footage showing the new Paveh cruise missile.
Brigadier-General Hajizadeh said Iran did not intend to kill “poor soldiers” when it launched a ballistic missile attack on US-led forces in Iraq in 2020, days after Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad.
“God willing, we are looking to kill Trump. [Former secretary of state Mike] Pompeo … and military commanders who issued the order [to kill General Soleimani] should be killed,” he said.
Iranian leaders have often vowed to avenge General Soleimani in strong terms.
The country has also expanded its missile program, particularly its ballistic missiles, in defiance of opposition from the United States and expressions of concern by European countries.
Tehran says the program is purely defensive and of a deterrent nature.
In November, the Pentagon said the United States was sceptical of reports quoting Brigadier-General Hajizadeh as saying Iran had developed a hypersonic ballistic missile.