Iran unveils new missile with reported region-wide range

·2 min read
In this photo released Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, by Sepahnews of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, surface-to-surface "Khaibar-buster" missile is displayed in an undisclosed location in Iran. On Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, Iranian state TV unveiled a new missile with solid fuel and a range of 1,450 kilometers, or 900 miles that would allow it to reach both U.S. bases in the region as well as targets inside its archfoe Israel. (Sepahnews via AP) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran unveiled a new missile on Wednesday with a reported range that would allow it to reach both U.S. bases in the region and targets inside its archfoe Israel.

State TV reported that the missile uses solid fuel and has a range of 1,450 kilometers (900 miles). It is called the Khaibar-buster, a reference to a Jewish castle overrun by Muslim warriors in the early days of Islam.

The report said the missile has high accuracy, is manufactured completely domestically, and can defeat missile shield systems. The information has not been independently verified.

Israel’s closest point to Iran is some 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) away. Iran has missiles that can travel up to 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles).

The report comes as negotiations continue in Vienna to revive Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers. Iran, which has long said it does not seek nuclear weapons, insists its missile program is only a deterrent.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday spoke with King Salman of Saudi Arabia. The White House said Biden briefed the Saudi leader on the multilateral talks aimed at getting Iran to return to compliance. Former President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal in 2018.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday a deal is “in sight” but warned that “if it's not reached in the coming weeks Iran's nuclear advances will make it impossible" for the U.S. to return to the deal.

Earlier in January Iran tested an engine for a solid-fuel rocket designed to launch satellites. Satellite carriers usually use liquid fuel but solid-fuel rockets can be adapted for mobile launchers that can be driven anywhere on a major road or rail system. Pure solid-fuel rockets are mostly associated with ballistic missiles systems.