Iran officially unveiled their newest missile which has the ability to reach into parts of Europe.
The unveiling of the Soumar missile, which has a range of 2,500 kilometers, now puts all of Turkey, Greece, most of the former Yugoslav peninsula, Ukraine, and large parts of Russia within striking distance.
In the east, Iran can now strike anywhere in the range of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, as well as parts of Kazakhstan, India and China.
The missile itself is a copy of the Soviet Kh-55 missile which was allegedly stolen from Ukraine back in 2001 and reverse engineered. The Soumar can only reportedly carry a 200 kilogram payload, which means it does not as of yet possess the ability to carry a nuclear warhead.
According to the Iranian defense industry, the Soumar is the most advanced cruise missile ever designed and built by experts in Iran.
Regardless, Tal Inbar, the head of space research at the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, told Israeli media that this was a significant development for the Iranian missile program, and that it represents a “dramatic shift” forward for them.
Israel has for a long while now pressured the US and other members of the P5+1 group, who are currently holding nuclear negotiations with Iran, to put sanctions on Iran’s missile development system in addition to its nuclear program. However, Israel’s pleas have largely gone ignored.
The US is said to be mulling placing missile defense systems in various parts of Europe, a move contested by Russia. Russia, for its part, claims that Iranian missiles pose no threat to the US or Europe.
Israel, however, has received no such reassurance. In fact, Iran has openly stated that it has been sharing long range missile technology with terror organizations on Israel’s borders such as Hezbollah and Hamas with the intent of destroying the Jewish state.
The decision to unveil the new missile comes during delicate talks between the world powers and the Islamic Republic regarding the Iranian nuclear program.
Iran’s boast of creating the Soumar missile is a blatant message to the west, and according to Inbar, Iran has made it clear that “the matter of missiles would not be up for negotiation.”