Iran says range of its land-to-sea missiles increased to 700 kilometers

Iranian senior military official said it has increased the land-to-sea range of its ballistic missiles to 700 kilometers. (File/AFP)
Updated 16 October 2018
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Iran says range of its land-to-sea missiles increased to 700 kilometers

  • Iranian head of the Revolutionary Guards’ airspace division said the range was extended to 700 kilometers (435 miles)

LONDON: Iran has extended the range of its land-to-sea ballistic missiles to 700km (435 miles), a senior Iranian military official said on Tuesday, as tensions over the weapons rise with the United States.
US President Donald Trump withdrew from an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program in May, saying it was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran’s ballistic missiles program or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.
Iran, which says its missile program is purely defensive, has threatened to disrupt oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf if Washington tries to strangle Tehran’s oil exports.
“We have managed to make land-to-sea ballistic, not cruise, missiles that can hit any vessel or ship from 700km,” Amirali Hajjizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guards’ airspace division, was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.
He did not give details on the previous range of the missiles. In 2008, Iran displayed a ground-to-sea missile that it said could travel about 290km.
Speaking in a teleconference call on Monday, US special envoy on Iran Brian Hook said that Tehran’s ballistic missile program was exacerbating tensions in Yemen, Iraq and Syria. “We are accumulating risk of regional conflict if we do not do more to deter Iran’s missile proliferation in the Middle East,” Hook said.


Another Turkish journalist jailed over Gulen links

Ali Unal was chief writer at the now-defunct Zaman newspaper. (Supplied)
Updated 54 min 25 sec ago
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Another Turkish journalist jailed over Gulen links

  • About 250 people were killed in the coup attempt and in the subsequent crackdown, Turkey jailed 77,000 people pending trial

ISTANBUL: A court sentenced Turkish journalist Ali Unal to 19 years in jail on Wednesday on a charge of being a leader in the network accused of carrying out a failed coup in July 2016, the state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.
The ruling followed a sustained crackdown in the wake of the coup attempt, but also came amid steps by the government that appear aimed at improving ties with the US and Europe, strained by the sweeping campaign of arrests.
Unal was chief writer at the now-defunct Zaman newspaper, widely seen as the flagship media outlet for the network of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara says orchestrated the attempted putsch. Gulen denies any involvement.
Speaking by video link from jail to the court in the western province of Usak, Unal denied being a founder or leader of the network and denied involvement in the putsch, Anadolu said.
“I have no link with any terrorist organization,” he said, adding that he had spoken five or six times to Gulen and that he was being tried over his writing.
He was sentenced to 19 years and six months for “leading an armed terrorist group.” Six other Zaman journalists were convicted on similar charges in July.
About 250 people were killed in the coup attempt and in the subsequent crackdown, Turkey jailed 77,000 people pending trial. Authorities also sacked or suspended 150,000 civil servants and military personnel and shut down dozens of media outlets.Illustrating the scale of its actions, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday his ministry had dismissed 23 percent of its career personnel over links to Gulen.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said some journalists helped nurture terrorists with their writing, and that the crackdown is needed to ensure stability in a NATO member bordering Syria, Iraq and Iran. Critics say Erdogan has used the crackdown to muzzle dissent and increase his own power. The European Union, which Turkey aspires to join, has also criticized the crackdown. The verdict came a day after another court threw out the conviction of former Wall Street Journal reporter Ayla Albayrak, annulling a verdict sentencing her to two years in prison in absentia on charges of carrying out propaganda for Kurdish militants.