Iran has announced the launch of a new air defence missile production line using "complete indigenous technology". Iranian Air Defence Commander Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili said on Saturday, 22 July, that the homegrown Sayyad 3 missile can travel up to 120km and reach an altitude of 27km.

The announcement has come at a time when Iran and the US are increasingly at loggerheads over Tehran's ballistic missile activities. Only a week ago, the administration of US President Donald Trump imposed fresh economic sanctions on Iran despite acknowledging that the country is largely upholding the landmark 2015 nuclear accord.

"Sayyad 3 is designed based on the latest technologies in the world and is capable of combating various types of threats, including drones, stealth aircraft, cruise missiles, helicopters, and various types of other aircraft with high manoeuvre, speed and altitude in their operational range," Iran's Defence Minister General Hossein Dehghan said at the inauguration of the production line at the army's Khatam al-Anbiya air defence base. Top Iranian authorities took part in the ceremony.

Sayyad means "hunter" in Farsi and the latest missile is thought to be an upgraded version of an existing weapon.

The country is known to occasionally share news about homegrown weapons but it is hard to independently verify the reports.

Iranian defence officials say the latest weapon, equipped to deal with electronic warfare, can track 30 targets and strike 12 of them simultaneously.

Speaking about the increasing volatility in the Middle East and Iran's regional rival, Saudi Arabia, Dehghan said "security is not buyable".

"We regret that our neighbours consider Iran's capabilities and power as threats to themselves, while we are the protector of peace and security in the region," he said and mentioned the US' $110bn military deal with Riyadh.