Iran unveils new long-range cruise missile

Iran unveils new long-range cruise missile
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Iran unveiled a new long-range cruise missile Saturday during celebrations marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, state television reported.

According to Reuters, the missile has a range of 800 miles and is part of Tehran’s expanded missile program that Iran claims is defensive in nature.

The program has been a source of consternation among the U.S. and European countries who have expressed concerns about its purpose.

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“This cruise missile needs a very short time for its preparedness and can fly at a low altitude,” Defense Minister Amir Hatami said during the unveiling ceremony.

Reuters noted that some Western experts say Iran has exaggerated its missiles' range and power.

Iran has expanded its missile program since joining the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE withdrew the U.S. from the pact in May, specifically citing its lack of language regarding Tehran’s missile program. The U.S. has said Iran is complying with the treaty. 

The head of the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace division said Saturday that Iran has solved initial difficulties in producing jet engines for cruise missiles and could expand the types of weapons it can build. 

Iran conducted a failed satellite launch last month. 

The launch came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Iran in January against three planned space launches, stating that the launches would violate a United Nations Security Resolution by incorporating ballistic missile technology. 

Iran denies that its space program is a cover for weapons development.