Iran successfully tests new naval cruise missile

Western military analysts say Tehran often exaggerates its weapons capabilities. Above, Iran test fires its latest locally made cruise missile. (Tasnim)
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Updated 18 June 2020

Iran successfully tests new naval cruise missile

  • The new generation cruise missiles as a range of 280 kilometers
  • Western military analysts say Iran often exaggerates its weapons capabilities

DUBAI: Iran said on Thursday its navy had successfully fired a new locally made cruise missile during war games in the northern Indian Ocean and near the entrance to the Gulf.
The test-firing comes as the United States is seeking an extension of a UN-imposed arms embargo against Iran, which is due to expire in October under Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Washington withdrew from that pact.
“During the exercises, short-range and long-range coast-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles were successfully fired from the coast and from decks of ships, hitting their targets with great precision,” the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.
The new generation cruise missiles, with a range of 280 km (175 miles) were tested during exercises by the Iranian navy in the Gulf of Oman, which lies next to the Strait of Hormuz waterway at the mouth of the Gulf, and the northern Indian Ocean, Tasnim said.
In April, Iran said it had increased the range of its naval missiles to 700km.
Western military analysts say Iran often exaggerates its weapons capabilities but concerns about its long-range ballistic missiles program contributed to the US decision to leave Iran’s 2015 deal to rein in its nuclear ambitions in exchange for an easing of economic sanctions.


UN chief: COVID-19 provides opportunity for Daesh, Al-Qaeda

Updated 50 min 23 sec ago

UN chief: COVID-19 provides opportunity for Daesh, Al-Qaeda

NEW YORK: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the COVID-19 pandemic provides new opportunities for Daesh extremist group, Al-Qaeda and their affiliates as well as neo-Nazis, white supremacists and hate groups.
The UN chief said it’s too early to fully assess the implications of the coronavirus pandemic on terrorism, but all these groups seek to exploit divisions, local conflicts, failures in governing, and other grievances to advance their aims.
Guterres told the launch of UN Counter-Terrorism Week that the Daesh group, which once controlled a vast swath of Syria and Iraq, is trying to reassert itself in both countries, “while thousands of foreign terrorist fighters battle in the region.”
“The pandemic has also highlighted vulnerabilities to new and emerging forms of terrorism, such as misuse of digital technology, cyberattacks and bio-terrorism,” he said.
Josep Borrell, the EU’s top diplomat, told the virtual meeting that a global understanding of the pandemic’s implications on counter-terrorism efforts across the world is needed.
“It is true that, in some places, the crisis has led to a reduction of terrorist activity, mainly due to the mobilization of state security services,” he said. “But in other regions, terrorism and human suffering caused by it continue unabated.”
Former American diplomat Richard Haas, who heads the Council on Foreign Relations, said he believes COVID-19 “will add to the challenges of counter-terrorism.”
“It will perhaps create an environment where more countries become weak or fail,” he said, and recruitment for terrorist organizations will quite possibly go up.
With global attention focused on tackling the pandemic, Tunisia’s UN Ambassador Kais Kabtani said, terrorist groups are seeking to capitalize “by undermining state authority and launching new attacks.”