Tehran Unveils 2000 Km-Range Ballistic Missile Which Can Carry Several Warheads

Iran missile

"We will strengthen our defence and military capabilities. whether you want it or not", he said in a direct response to Mr Trump's speech at the UN General Assembly this week.

Rouhani had earlier said his country meant to strengthen the capabilities of the country's missile system.

Tehran has backed Yemen's Shiite rebels known as Houthis against a US-supported and Saudi-led coalition of mostly Arab states that seeks to return the internationally elected government to power in Yemen. "Not only will we fortify our missiles, but our ground, navy and air forces will always be supported by the people".

Iran's Revolutionary Guard on Friday unveiled its latest ballistic missile capable of reaching much of the Middle East, including Israel, while the country's president vowed that Tehran would press ahead with its missile program in defiance of USA demands to the contrary.

Iran expert Sanam Vakil, an associate fellow with the UK's Chatham House, said that Rouhani was playing to both the worldwide and domestic audience. After conclusion of the nuclear deal and slight lifting of the United States sanctions, Washington immediately announced about imposition of new sanctions on Iran because of its program for developing ballistic missiles.

In February, Iran test-fired the same medium-range type of missile, prompting Trump to say that the United States is "putting Iran on notice".

At the event, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stressed that the country's military power has been used only in acts of defense, despite what he called the export of deadly weapons by foreign powers to the Middle East.

"The missile has become smaller in size (compared to other Iranian ballistic missiles) and more tactical, and it will be operational in the near future", Hajizadeh said without further elaboration.

Mr. Rouhani, a moderate, has staked his reputation on sealing the nuclear deal and relieving the Iranian economy of debilitating worldwide sanctions.

Later on Friday, Iranians staged anti-Trump protest to show their anger over the US president's speech.

"Like North Korea, Iran is responding to Trump's bellicosity by its own display of strength, to show it is not cowed", said Mark Fitzpatrick, executive director of the Americas office of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a British think tank.

Trump has suggested that the Iranian missiles might be used for carrying a nuclear warhead, the allegations which Iran has rejected.

State media said similar protests took place in other Iranian cities and towns.

The possibility that Washington might renege on the deal has anxious some countries, especially as the world grapples with North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile development.

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