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Iran unveils latest version of ballistic missile amid wider tensions over nuclear program

Iran unveils latest version of ballistic missile amid wider tensions over nuclear program

Iran unveiled on Thursday what it dubbed the latest iteration of its liquid-fueled Khorramshahr ballistic missile amid wider tensions with the West over its nuclear program.

Authorities showed off the Khorramshahr-4 to journalists at an event in Tehran, with the missile on a truck-mounted launcher. Defense Minister Gen. Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said the missile could be prepared for launch in a short period.

Iranian officials described the missile as having a 1,240-mile range with a 3,300-pound warhead. They also released undated video footage purportedly showing a successful launch of the missile.

The Khorramshahr-4 is named after an Iranian city that was the scene of heavy fighting during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. The missile also is called Kheibar, after a Jewish fortress conquered by the Muslims in the 7th century — in what is now Saudi Arabia.

Regional tensions likely played a role in Iran’s missile display Thursday. A miniature example of Jerusalem’s golden Dome of the Rock on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a holy site in both Islam and Judaism that Jews call the Temple Mount, stood next to the mobile launcher.

Iran views Israel as its archenemy and arming anti-Israeli militant groups in the Palestinian territories and surrounding countries. Tensions between the two nations are high, particularly as Iran enriches uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels. The Khorramshahr would be able to reach Israel.

It remains unclear, however, why the missile has been called Khorramshahr-4 as only two other variants of the missile are publicly known. It is modeled after North Korea’s Musudan ballistic missile.

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