Iran has unveiled a new precision-guided missile that it claimed can pinpoint targets more than 300 miles. On the same day, it revealed it shot down a reconnaissance drone in the west of the country near the border with Iraq.
During a ceremony to mark the National Day of Defence Industry in the Middle Eastern state President Hassan Rouhani said that the ballistic missile would be branded as Fateh-313 or Conqueror. It means that Iran will be one of only a handful of countries to possess a rocket with a range of more than 500km compound solid fuel, according to the Islamic Public News Agency.
The missile that was developed within Iran will now be mass produced by the Iranian Defence Ministry using domestic resources. It will take over from its predecessor – the Fateh-110 – and has a larger lifespan and a quicker launch capability. Iranian State TV showed footage of the missile being fired from a secret location.
The announcement comes just weeks after Iran and several world powers including the US signed a deal requiring the country to limit its nuclear programme in return for the easing of economic sanctions but the West. The resolution also contains an arms embargo against Iran for the next eight years, but the development of the Fateh-313 is not part of that deal.
Rouhani rallied against the imposition of any arms restrictions on Iran and addressed the TV cameras. "We will buy weapons from anywhere we deem necessary. We won't wait for anybody's permission or approval and won't look at any resolution. And we will sell weapons to anywhere we deem necessary," he said.
Last year, Iran said that it had successfully launched its copy of a Lockheed Martin RQ-170 drone it had captured from the US. Commander of Iran's Kermanshah Air Defence Group Colonel Farzad Fereidouni said that the drone had been shot down when it "confronted" Iran's air defence missile system, but did not reveal its country of origin or any more details of the incident.
In 2013, the country presented the Russian Air Force with a copy of the US ScanEagle drone originally manufactured by Boeing Insitu.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is expected to visit Iran this weekend with a delegation of senior business leaders and officials as the UK embassy reopens its doors in Tehran after it was shut down after a mob attack four years ago.