Iran unveils long-range cruise missiles on the anniversary of the revolution

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DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran unveiled a new cruise missile with a range of 1,300 km (800 miles) on Saturday during the celebrations of the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, according to state television .

"This cruise missile needs a very short time for its preparation and can fly at low altitude," Defense Minister Amir Hatami said during the inauguration ceremony.

Hatami said the surface-to-ground missile, called Hoveizeh, belonged to the Soumar family of cruise missiles, which were unveiled in 2015.

Western experts say that Iran often exaggerates its military capabilities, although there are concerns over its long-range ballistic missiles.

Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the aerospace division of the Revolutionary Guards, said that at the event Iran has overcome the initial problems in the production of jet engines for cruise missiles and could now produce a full range of weapons.

Iran said in January that its satellite launch offer failed after Tehran ignored US warnings to avoid such activity.

Washington warned Tehran last month that it had not embarked on three scheduled launches that would violate a US Security Council resolution because they use ballistic missile technology.

A resolution by the United Kingdom Security Council, which ratified the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal with the major powers, "called on" Tehran to refrain up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to supply nuclear weapons.

Iran says its missile tests do not violate the resolution and denies that its missiles are able to transport nuclear warheads. He says his missiles are defensive and used for deterrence and he has rejected talks on his missile program.

US President Donald Trump abandoned the deal last year and re-imposed sanctions against Iran that had been revoked under the pact in exchange for a reduction in the nuclear program by Tehran.

Washington says that although Iran has respected the terms, the agreement was too generous, failing to curb the Iranian ballistic missile program or to curb what the United States deems to be interference in regional affairs.

Reporting by the Dubai office; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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