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Defiant Iran unveils latest missile

Missiles are displayed as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends an armed forces parade in Tehran on September 22, 2017. (President.ir/Handout via Reuters)
TEHRAN: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on Friday unveiled its latest ballistic missile capable of reaching much of the Middle East, including Israel.
President Hassan Rouhani vowed that Tehran would press ahead with its missile program in defiance of US demands to the contrary.
The unveiling came during a military parade in Tehran that commemorated the 1980s Iraq-Iran war.
The move was a direct challenge to President Donald Trump, who in August signed a bill imposing mandatory penalties on those involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them.
Though Iran has long boasted of having missiles in the same range in its arsenal, it was the first time that the Khoramshahr, with a range of 2,000 km was displayed in public.
In February, Iran test-fired the same medium-range type of missile, prompting Trump to say that the US is “putting Iran on notice.”
Trump has vowed repeatedly to take a tougher line toward Iran than his predecessor, threatening at various times to renegotiate or even dismantle the nuclear deal, and shoot Iranian boats out of the water if they provoke US naval vessels in the Gulf.
Friday’s parade also showcased various Iranian army units and Revolutionary Guard forces, as well as the police.
Rouhani addressed the parade in Tehran, saying that Iran would not halt its missile program but continue to boost military capabilities, despite US demands. “We will strengthen our defense and military capabilities ... whether you want it or not,” Rouhani said, a direct response to Trump’s speech at the UN General Assembly this week.
Rouhani added that “Iran’s military power lies in its commitment to never invade another country or land.”
He also said Tehran will keep supporting the “oppressed people of Yemen, Syria and Palestine” — a reference to Iran’s role in the wars in Yemen and Syria and its support for Palestinian militant groups such as Hamas.

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