Iran test-fired a sub-to-surface missile in the Persian Gulf on Sunday during large-scale military exercises, state-run television reported.
“The army successfully test-fired a top speed long-range sub-to-surface missile off the Persian Gulf,” The Army’s Navy commander, Gen. Sajjad Kouchaki, said on television. A brief video clip showed the missile, fired from a submarine, exiting the water and hitting a target on the surface of the water within a kilometer.
The test came as part of large-scale military exercises under way throughout the country that began on Aug. 19. Iran has routinely held war games over the past two decades to improve its combat readiness and to test equipment including missiles, tanks and armored personnel carriers. The test comes amid a standoff between Iran and the United States over Tehran’s nuclear activities. The Islamic Republic, which views the United States as a foe, is concerned about the US Military presence in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan.
Iran also has expressed worry about Israeli threats to destroy its nuclear facilities, which the West contends could be used to make a bomb but which Iran insists are for civilian uses only.
Kouchaki said the missile, called Thaqeb or Jupitar, was built based on domestic know-how, although outside experts say much of the country’s missile technology originated from other countries such as Russia and China. “The guided missile can be fired from all vessels,” he said.
Iran already is equipped with the Shahab-3 missile, which means “Shooting star” in Farsi, and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. An upgraded version of the ballistic missile has a range of more than 1,930 kilometers (1,200 miles) and can reach Israel and US Forces in the Middle East.
Last year, former Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said Tehran had successfully tested a solid fuel motor for the Shahab-3, which was considered a technological breakthrough for the country’s military.
'Iran does not intend to attack Israel'
Solid fuel dramatically increases the accuracy of a missile while a liquid fuel missile is not very accurate in hitting targets.
Iran’s military test-fired a series of missiles during large-scale war games in the Persian Gulf in March and April, including a missile it claimed was not detectable by radar that can use multiple warheads to hit several targets simultaneously.
After decades of relying on foreign weapons purchases, Iran’s military has been working to boost its domestic production of armaments.
Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and a fighter plane, the government has said. It announced in early 2005 that it had begun production of torpedoes.
Nazm Jalali, a spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in the Iranian Parliament said that Iran does not intend to attack Israel.
"Iran is not looking to harm innocent people, not even in Tel Aviv. There is no place in the Iranian combat doctrine for the use of nuclear arms. The only thing that stands in the center of its strategy is the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes," said Jalali in an interview with reporters.