Iran unveils new missile in ‘bid to provoke US’

1 / 2
An image grab from footage obtained from the state-run Iran Press news agency on Feb. 9, 2020 shows the unveiling Raad-500 missile, a short-range ballistic missile by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. (Iran Press via AFP)
2 / 2
An image grab from footage obtained from the state-run Iran Press news agency on Feb. 9, 2020 shows the unveiling Raad-500 missile, a short-range ballistic missile by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. (Iran Press via AFP)
Short Url
Updated 10 February 2020

Iran unveils new missile in ‘bid to provoke US’

  • New Raad-500 missile powered by a “new generation” of engines, says Iran's Revolutionary Guard
  • Iran's attempt at more missile tests risk more tensions, warns analyst

JEDDAH: Iran unveiled a new ballistic missile on Sunday as a “provocative” attempt to launch a satellite into space ended in another embarrassing disaster.

The Zafar 1 communications satellite, launched from Imam Khomeini spaceport in Semnan province, plunged back to Earth after its Simorgh carrier rocket failed to reach orbit speed.

It was Iran’s fourth failed attempt to launch a satellite, including one that exploded on the launchpad.

Nevertheless, with the anniversary on Tuesday of the 1979 revolution, Tehran is likely to aim to further provoke the US and its regional allies, analysts told Arab News.




An image grab from footage obtained from the state-run Iran Press news agency on Feb. 9, 2020 shows the impact of a launched newly unveiled Raad-500 missile. (Iran Press via AFP)

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said on Sunday that its new Raad-500 missile was powered by a “new generation” of engines.

However, like most of Iran’s “new” technology, the Raad is a development of an older model — the Fateh-110, a ballistic ground-to-ground missile unveiled in 2002. The main change is that the range has increased from 100 to 300km.

Unveiling the new missile and engine, IRGC commander Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami described them as “complicated achievements on the bleeding edge of global technology.”

FASTFACTS

Iran’s new Raad-500 missiles are powered by a ‘new generation’ of engines.

Tehran’s attempt to launch a satellite into space failed for the fourth time.

The new technologies that made the missiles “cheaper, lighter, faster and more precise” could be applied to all of Iran’s missile classes, he said.

Washington’s aim is to rein in Iran’s ballistic missile program and its destabilizing behavior in the region. The US has also raised concerns about Iran’s satellite program, which Washington says is a violation of curbs on its development of ballistic missiles.

Dr. Theodore Karasik, a senior adviser to Gulf State Analytics in Washington, DC, told Arab News that Tehran was “likely to stage some event, with loud rhetoric” to mark the revolution’s anniversary and the 40th day of mourning for warlord general Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a US drone strike.

“Iran and its proxies’ odious behavior will be on display for observers to witness,” he said. “There may be attempts by Iran and its allies to demonstrate their capabilities. But the US and its allies have a full range of tools, including cyberattacks, so all eyes will be watching.

“Acting out through terrorism or militias is not the way to conduct foreign policy. Trying to launch a space vehicle and more missile tests risk more tensions.”


So-called honor killing of teen girl brings outcry in Iran

Updated 11 min 22 sec ago

So-called honor killing of teen girl brings outcry in Iran

  • Iranian president Rouhani has urged his cabinet to speed up the introduction of harsher laws against such killings

TEHRAN: The so-called honor killing of a 14-year-old Iranian girl by her father, who reportedly used a farming sickle to behead her as she slept, has prompted a nationwide outcry.
Reza Ashrafi, now in custody, was apparently enraged when he killed his daughter Romina on Thursday after she ran away with 34-year-old Bahamn Khavari in Talesh, some 320 kilometers (198 miles) northwest of the capital, Tehran.
In traditional societies in the Middle East, including Iran, blame would typically fall on a runaway girl for purportedly having sullied her family’s honor, rather than on an adult male luring away a child.
Romina was found five days after leaving home and taken to a police station, from where her father brought her back home. The girl reportedly told the police she feared a violent reaction from her father.
On Wednesday, a number of national newspapers featured the story prominently and the social media hashtag #RominaAshrafi reportedly has been used thousands times on social media, with most users condemning the killing.
Proposed legislation against honor killings has apparently shuttled for years among various decision-making bodies in Iran.
On Wednesday, Romina Ashrafi’s case led Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to urge his Cabinet to speed up harsher laws against such killings and he pushed for speedy adoption of relevant legislation.
There is little data on honor killings in Iran, where local media occasionally report on such cases. Under the law, girls can marry after the age of 13, though the average age of marriage for Iranian women is 23. It is not known how many women and young girls are killed by family members or close relatives because of their actions, perceived as violating conservative Islamic norms on love and marriage.
Iran’s judiciary said Romina’s case will be tried in a special court. Under the current law, her father faces a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Iran’s vice president in charge of family affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar, expressed hope that a bill with harsher punishments will soon be in the final stages of approval.
Shahnaz Sajjadi, special assistant to citizens’ rights in the presidential directorate on women and family affairs, on Wednesday told the khabaronline.ir news website “We should revise the idea that home is a safe place for children and women. Crimes that happen against women in the society are less than those that happen in the homes.”