18:47 GMT03 March 2021
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    Last year, Iranian Defence Minister Amir Hatami unveiled a spate of new ballistic and cruise missiles designed and manufactured in the Islamic Republic. One such missile was named after Qasem Soleimani, a top Iranian general killed by a US drone strike in January 2020.

    Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, has attended the opening of factories in Iran producing state-of-the-art shoulder-fired missiles and hybrid solid fuel for various types of rockets.

    Speaking at an unveiling ceremony on Saturday, Baqeri praised the facility as "one of the most unique plants in the region producing short-range air defence missiles".

    He explained that the domestically-made portable rocket launchers designed for air defence-related missions, feature advanced laser technologies for navigation and control, among other things.

    A long-range Qadr ballistic missile is launched in the Alborz mountain range in northern Iran on March 9, 2016. (File)
    © AFP 2021 / Mahmood Hosseini /TASNIM NEWS
    A long-range Qadr ballistic missile is launched in the Alborz mountain range in northern Iran on March 9, 2016. (File)

    Baqeri also took part in another ceremony to open a hybrid solid propellant factory, which will supply fuel for various types of missiles used in ground warfare.

    The general underscored the necessity of extending the range and speed of such missiles fired in ground combat, adding that the new solid fuel is expected to boost the power of tactical ground-to-ground, anti-tank, and air defence projectiles.

    Last year, Iran rolled out a host of sophisticated ballistic and cruise missiles designed and manufactured in the Islamic Republic, including the Qasem Soleimani surface-to-surface missile.

    It was named after the head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds Force, who was killed in a US drone strike.

    The killing further escalated the already tense relations between Tehran and Washington, which have been in a downward spiral since the latter's unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the reinstatement of tough economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

    Tehran has repeatedly resisted US and European pressure to reduce its missile power, underscoring the need to defend itself against foreign aggression and saying that Iran's missile programme "cannot and will not be negotiated".

    The Islamic Republic reportedly possesses more than 1,000 short- and medium-range missiles, and is thought to have ramped up its development and production following the US exit from the JCPOA.

    Related:

    Iran Shows Off New Missiles: One is Named After General Soleimani, Killed in US Drone Strike
    Iran Aims to Upgrade Air-Launched Cruise Missiles So They Can Hit Targets Beyond 1,000 Kilometres
    Iran Set to Unveil New Chopper, Drone and Missile-Laden Warship Capable of Reaching US Coast
    Tags:
    production, missiles, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani, armed forces, Iran
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