Iran has just unveiled a new missile that can strike targets in Israel and American military bases in the Middle East.
On Wednesday, the Iranian government debuted its new solid-fuel missile on state television. The missile has a range of 1,450 kilometers — roughly 900 miles — and is called the Khaibar-buster.
Khaibar was an ancient Jewish palace that was overrun by Muslim armies under the leadership of Muhammad in the early days of Islamic expansion.
The Khaibar-buster is manufactured completely domestically in Iran and, per the Times of Israel, may be able to circumvent sophisticated missile defense systems.
Iran debuted its new missile as the United States continues to re-negotiate the 2015 nuclear agreement. Iran has long claimed that it does not wish to develop nuclear weapons and insists that its missile development programs are simply a deterrent.
Iran isn’t able to launch the Khaibar-buster at intercontinental targets, but the new missile is able to reach American military bases in the Middle East.
Mohammad Bagheri, chief of staff for the Iranian armed forces, described the Khaibar-buster as a “long-range missile” and said that “the enemies of the Revolution and the Islamic Republic do not understand anything but the language of power and force.”
Iranian leadership is dedicated to wiping the Jewish state of Israel off the map. Ayatollah Khamenei has even referred to the “Zionist regime” as a “long-lasting virus.”
Iran’s aggressiveness towards and perpetual harassment of Israel have led to the Jewish state hastening the development of new missile defense systems. Israel is 620 miles away from Iran, well within the Khaibar-buster’s range. This missile is capable of reaching targets deep inside Israel.
This past January, Iran successfully tested a solid-fuel rocket engine that is allegedly designed to launch satellites into orbit. According to an Iranian spokesperson, via Reuters, this rocket launched research devices into space at an “altitude of 470 km (290 miles) and at a speed of 7,350 meters per second.”
Satellite rocket engines are usually powered with liquid fuel, and pure solid-fuel rockets are typically associated with ballistic missile systems, so the international community remains highly skeptical of Iran’s intentions.
It’s unclear whether the rocket reached orbit, but the Iranian government confirmed, “The intended research objectives of this launch were achieved.”
According to the U.S. State Department, this launch violated a 2015 U.N. Security Council resolution. A State Department spokesperson said, “The United States remains concerned with Iran’s development of space launch vehicles which pose a significant proliferation concern.”
Last week, the State Department confirmed that Iran was merely weeks away from being able to fuel and power a nuclear weapon.