Iran unveils new ballistic cruise missiles after US triggers snapback sanctions

Iran unveils new ballistic cruise missiles after US triggers snapback sanctions
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Iran unveiled a new cruise missile as well as a ballistic missile that it claims has a range of nearly 870 miles after the Trump administration announced its intent to reinstate sanctions on Tehran.

“The surface-to-surface missile, called martyr Qassem Soleimani, has a range of 1,400 km and the cruise missile, called martyr Abu Mahdi, has a range of over 1,000 km,” the country’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami said in a televised speech, Reuters reported Thursday.

Iranian officials said the weapons “will further strengthen Iran’s deterrence power,” as images of the armaments were shown on state TV.

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The missiles are named after Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an Iraqi militia commander, who were both killed in a U.S. drone strike in January while their convoy was traveling in Iraq near Baghdad's airport.

The strike prompted retaliation from Iran, which fired ballistic missiles at an Iraqi base housing U.S. forces.

The strikes came amid steadily increasing tensions between the U.S. and Iran that had been building since 2018 when President TrumpDonald John TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid MORE withdrew the United States from the Obama-era nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

Iran’s unveiling of the new missiles this week came almost immediately after the Trump administration announced that it had notified the United Nations that the U.S. is starting the process to reinstate all U.N. sanctions on Tehran that had been lifted under the 2015 deal.

The snapback sanctions will extend an arms embargo on Iran that was set to expire in October and further restrict the country from conducting ballistic missile testing, according to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: House Democrats unveil stopgap spending measure to GOP opposition | Bill includes .6B for new subs | Trump issues Iran sanctions after world shrugs at US action at UN Navalny calls on Russia to return clothes he was wearing when he fell ill US issues Iran sanctions to enforce UN action ignored by international community MORE.

Trump last week claimed he could reach a deal with Iranian leaders if he wins reelection in November.

“When we win we will have a deal [with Iran] within four weeks,” Trump said at a private fundraiser in New Jersey, recorded in a video shared by a Jewish Insider reporter.

Iran has rejected talks with the United States as long as the snapback sanctions are in place.