On Friday, a senior Iranian general gave an interview to state television and unveiled a new cruise missile with a range of 1,650 kilometers (1,050 miles), placing it within striking distance of Israel. He also reaffirmed Tehran’s ambition to assassinate former US President Donald Trump.
According to Reuters, Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the aerospace unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, said: The Islamic Republic of Iran’s missile arsenal now includes our 1,650-kilometer-range cruise missile.
The first purported film of the new Paveh cruise missile in action was shown on television, which depicted the missile being fired and then flying low to the ground before impact. Hajizadeh did not provide any other information about the missile beyond its range.
The Guard has previously claimed to possess cruise missiles with a range of 1,000 km (620 mi). More importantly, it possesses missiles ranging up to 2,000 kilometers, making it more than capable of attacking its arch-enemy Israel and nearby US military posts.
The supply of suicide drones to Russia for use in Ukraine and suspicions that it may provide other military systems to Moscow have sparked growing concern around the world. Iran has created a vast list of national weaponry, including drones, warships, planes, and electronic systems.
Israel has been vocal about Iran’s missile program, claiming it poses a threat to the Jewish state, the Middle East, and Europe, not only because of Iran’s conventional capabilities but also because the missiles could be used to drop bombs. Nuclear weapons if Iran were to develop them.
In 2018, former President Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal because it was insufficient and did not address Iran’s missile development. In addition, he re-imposed severe sanctions on Iran.
Tehran has begun enriching uranium to 60% purity, leaving only a small technical hurdle between them and the 90% required to create an atomic weapon.
Hajizadeh, in an interview with state television on Friday, reaffirmed Iran’s goal of assassinating Trump and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for their role in killing Iran’s Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad on January 3, 2020.
“With the grace of Allah, we plan to assassinate Trump,” Hajizadeh commented on television that Pompeo and the military leaders who ordered Soleimani’s assassination should be executed.
Just hours before news of the new cruise missile broke, Iran announced it would likely send air defense teams to Syria to prepare for any Israeli incursions.
According to Reuters, Iranian state media said: “Syria needs to restore its air defense network, and it needs precise bombs for its fighter jets.”
To bolster Syria’s air defenses, “we will likely see delivery by Iran of defensive radars and missiles, such as the 15 Khordad system,” the report said.
The news agency said on Wednesday that an Israeli strike in Damascus the previous weekend had targeted a meeting of Syrian and Iranian officials linked to the development of drones and representatives of the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group.
According to reports from Syria, the attack on Saturday night resulted in five deaths and 15 injuries. The Israeli military has remained silent over the strike. However, it has admitted to carrying out hundreds of raids in the previous decade against Iranian-backed forces trying to gain a foothold in Syria.
The Israeli authorities have repeatedly said that the army does not intentionally attack people and does everything possible to protect civilian neighborhoods.
On Sunday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s statement denounced the attack but did not mention Iranian losses.
Russia, which, along with Iran, is one of the Syrian regime’s main allies in the civil war that has raged in the country for nearly a decade, also condemned the attack, calling it a “flagrant violation” of international law.
Israel hesitates to supply Kyiv with weapons in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine partly because Jerusalem needs to coordinate with Moscow, which largely controls Syrian airspace, to carry out operations. The conflict with Russia has arisen due to Israel’s support for Ukraine and its desire to keep airspace over Syria open.
More and more Iranian weapons have been sent to Russia for use in the invasion of Ukraine. The White House announced Friday that Russia is considering transferring fighter jets to Iran as part of an expanded military collaboration.
The United States and its allies speculate that Russia will provide Iran with unparalleled missile, electronics, and air defense assistance.
John Kirby, the spokesman for the National Security Council, stated to the press that “we believe that Russia might provide Iran with combat aircraft.”
Kirby claimed that Iran, cut off from the rest of the world by Western sanctions aimed at ending its controversial nuclear program, was trying to build up its military with Russia’s help in exchange for handing over weapons used in the assault on a year against Ukraine.
Attack helicopters, radar, and combat training aircraft are some of the items Iran hopes to get from Russia. Kirby stated that Iran is pursuing military hardware that costs billions of dollars.
Fears that “this was going to go both ways” were well founded, he added. According to Kirby, hundreds of drones, artillery, and tank ammunition have been sent from Iran to Russia. He claims, “Iran’s support for the Moscow war has intensified.”