Iran says it has developed its first supersonic ballistic missile in the country, which air defense will not be able to thwart “for decades.”
General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, Commander of the Air Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGCASF), said the missile could maneuver beneath and above the Earth’s atmosphere, passing through “all missile defense test systems,” state news agency Tasnim reported.
The agency said Hajizadeh told reporters about a “huge leap” in missile development, and that the weapons could target anti-missile systems. “I don’t think there are technologies for decades to counter this,” said Hajizadeh. Newsweek contacted the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment.
During a recent joint military exercise by Iran, dubbed the Great Prophet 17, Hajizadeh boasted that Iranian-made missiles could maneuver in a way that would make them impossible to intercept.
In January 2020, Hajizadeh said he had assumed “full responsibility” to shoot down a Ukrainian passenger plane minutes after it took off from Tehran International Airport. The plane killed 176 passengers and crew, which Iranian officials mistook for a hostile target.
A year earlier, he was placed on the US Treasury’s sanctions list. On September 29, 2022, he was punished by Canada after protests related to the d*ath of Mahsa Amini.
The protests were triggered by the d*ath of a 22-year-old woman who was arrested on September 13 by Tehran’s moral police for allegedly violating the national dress code for women.
They turned into nationwide protests against the ruling regime. Human rights organizations say more than 300 people died in the protests, including at least 41 children.
Hajizadeh’s comments on the new rocket were reported by Russian state media, which Tehran supplied with drones used by Vladimir Putin’s forces to strike civilian and energy targets.
Last month, Israel said it had destroyed a plant in Syria that was reportedly used to assemble Iranian-made drones.
After initial denials that it had provided UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) to Moscow, Tehran admitted that it had given Russia drones ahead of Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion. The Shahed-136 or “kamikaze” drone, which has damaged cities all over Ukraine, has an eight-foot wingspan and carries explosives in a combat warhead on its nose.
The drone is difficult to detect on radar and can hover over the target until prompted to att*ck, making it difficult to intercept Ukraine’s air defense. Iran has also supplied Russia Shahed 129 and Shahed 191 drones, as well as the Mohajer-6 drone that can carry four precision-guided missiles.
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