04:41 GMT05 April 2020
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    Earlier, amid celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the revolutionary events which overthrew Iran's monarchy and gave rise to the Islamic Republic, the US State Department released a series of tweets attacking the revolution's "failed" legacy.

    Iran unveiled new medium-range surface-to-surface cruise missile dubbed the Hoveyzeh at a defence exhibition dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on Saturday, Press TV has reported.

    The Iranian English-language TV network released footage of the missile, which has a reported range of over 1,350 km, as it blasts off and strikes down on its target at a test range.

    The new cruise missile is named after the southwestern Iranian city of Hoveyzeh, which straddles the border with Iraq and which faced heavy casualties and damage during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988.

    In a speech at the weapon's unveiling ceremony, Iranian Defence Minister Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami boasted that the missile "needs a very short time for its preparedness and can fly at a low altitude." The missile is also capable of precision strikes, and can carry a heavy payload, Hatami added.

    The Hoveyzeh was developed by Iran Aviation Industries Organisation (IAIO), a state-owned aviation and aerospace concern.

    Once deployed, it will serve with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force.

    Tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated last May, after the US withdrew from the landmark 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal and introduced a series of crippling sanctions on Iran. 

    In recent months, the US and its allies have voiced concerns about Iran's rocketry and missile testing activities, threating further sanctions against the country and claiming that testing activity violates the terms of the nuclear deal. Iranian authorities have countered, arguing that their missile testing activities are in full compliance with international treaties, and stressing that Iran's "defensive" missile capabilities are "not negotiable." 

    Iran has a large arsenal of domestically-developed short, medium and long-range missile systems, which the US, the European Union, Saudi Arabia and Israel have argued are a threat to regional security.

    Tensions between Iran and the US were ratcheted up further on Friday, when, amid celebrations dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, the US State Department issued a series of tweets about the "failure" of the Islamic Republic.


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