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Tehran: West worried about Iran's 'defensive power' after Kheibar missile test

Iran unveiled precision-guided Kheibar missile on May 25, 2023. (File photo by YJC)

Iran has slammed the reaction of some Western countries to its successful launch of a new medium-range precision-guided ballistic missile, saying they are opposed to the enhancement of the Islamic Republic's “defensive power.”

In a tweet on Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan'ani referred to the history of the Western countries' arming of Saddam Hussein's regime during the eight-year imposed war on Iran in the 1980s.

"The same Western governments, especially the US and France, that played a big role in provoking and arming Saddam's Baathist regime to attack Iran and showering Iranian cities and people with missiles, those are the main suppliers of weapons to the region, are now worried about Iran's defensive power," the spokesman wrote.

"They are against a powerful Iran," he stressed.

Iran on Thursday successfully tested its most advanced Khorramshahr-class ballistic missile named Kheibar, a medium-range missile that can deliver a 1,500 kg warhead with high accuracy.

The missile was revealed in the presence of Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani during an event commemorating the 41st anniversary of the liberation of the southwestern city of Khorramshahr.

Developed by the Ministry of Defense's Aerospace Industries Organization, Kheibar is a liquid-fueled missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers. Its enhanced range, advanced guidance and control system, and improved structural features further strengthen Iran’s position as a formidable missile power.

Washington and Paris released statements following the successful launch.

"These activities are all the more worrying in the context of the continuing escalation of Iran's nuclear program," French foreign ministry spokesperson Anne-Claire Legendre told reporters on Thursday.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller also claimed that "Iran’s development and proliferation of ballistic missiles poses a serious threat to regional and international security," as he addressed a Thursday briefing in Washington.

Western countries claim that Iran's missile tests and rocket launches violate UN Resolution 2231, adopted in July 2015 to endorse the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.

Iran has strongly rejected the US allegations that it has violated the UN resolution, insisting that its missile tests and rocket launches are solely for defense purposes and not designed to carry nuclear warheads.

Iran has always said that the nuclear deal does not affect its right to build and have a strong national defense, especially after facing international sanctions preventing it from buying weapons to defend itself against the eight-year war that Iraq started in 1980.

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