Iran unveils new ballistic missile with 500-kilometre range
TEHRAN - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani unveiled the country's latest domestically produced ballistic missile on Saturday, saying such weapons are necessary for defence in the Middle East.
The Fateh (Winner) 313 missile has a 500-kilometre (300 miles) range and features more advanced sensors and technology than earlier missiles, according to Sepah News, the website of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards.
It was rolled out as part of Defence Industry Day, an annual event that showcases Iran's military hardware.
"A weak country incapable of confronting and defending against the military power of its neighbours and enemies cannot claim to seek peace, as it should only be prepared to be occupied at any moment," the president said in a televised speech at the event.
"Iran's strategy is based on defence and deterrence," he added.
Several versions of the Fateh missile have been produced in the past few years. The 313 model has been successfully tested and is scheduled for mass production, the Sepah News report said.
Iran's ballistic missile programme was a contentious issue in the talks that led to a nuclear deal struck in Vienna with world powers on July 14.
The agreement lifts international sanctions on Iran in exchange for putting curbs on its nuclear programme to ensure the Islamic republic's activities are purely civilian in nature.
Critics of the deal in Tehran said that a recent UN resolution regarding missiles, albeit a non-binding measure, placed unacceptable curbs on Iran's military capabilities.
While Iran insists it is not seeking a nuclear bomb, the latest UN Security Council resolution adopting the nuclear agreement bars Iran from owning missiles "designed to carry nuclear warheads".