Iran asserts to have invented a hypersonic missile
The UN nuclear watchdog expressed worry when an Iranian Revolutionary Guards general said on Thursday that the Islamic Republic has created a hypersonic missile that can penetrate all defense systems. Like conventional ballistic missiles that are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, hypersonic missiles can travel at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound.
According to General Amirali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps aerospace unit, “this hypersonic ballistic missile was built to counter air-defense shields.” The general predicted that it would take decades for a system to be created that could intercept it, adding that it would be able to penetrate all anti-missile defense systems.
“This missile represents a huge generational leap in the field of missiles since it targets adversary anti-missile systems.” Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), expressed worry over the disclosure. At the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Grossi said, “We observe that all these statements enhance the attention, increase the concerns, particularly increase the public attention to the Iranian nuclear program.”
Blocked nuclear negotiations
Hypersonic missiles, in contrast to ballistic missiles, fly on a low-altitude trajectory, possibly reaching targets more swiftly. Concerns over the race to acquire the technology, which is now dominated by Russia, China, and the United States, were raised after North Korea tested a hypersonic missile last year.
Strict sanctions have been imposed on both Iran and Russia as a result of their respective invasions of Ukraine in February and the unilateral US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran. In order to support their economy, the two nations have increased collaboration in crucial areas in response to the sanctions.
On Wednesday, Iran hosted Russia’s top security official Nikolai Patrushev for discussions on issues such as “the struggle against terrorism and extremism” and steps to thwart Western meddling, according to the Russian side. A hypersonic missile may maneuver, making it more difficult to track and counter.
Although nations like the United States have created defenses against cruise and ballistic missiles, it is still unclear if it is possible to track and shoot down a hypersonic missile. The announcement on Thursday is made against the backdrop of deadlocked negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement.
Iran received a reprieve from sanctions as part of the agreement negotiated with six major powers, including the US, Britain, China, France, and Germany in exchange for guarantees that it would not be able to produce atomic weapons. Iran has consistently denied having nuclear weapons on hand.
After the US withdrew unilaterally in 2018 under then-president Donald Trump, the agreement fell apart.
Warning to Saudi Arabia
Iran’s assertion that it has created a hypersonic missile comes after it declared on November 5 that a rocket designed to launch satellites into orbit successfully completed a test flight.
The US has frequently expressed concern that such launches could advance Iran’s ballistic missile technology, perhaps leading to the delivery of nuclear warheads.
Sanctions were put in place by the US government in March against Iran’s missile-related activities. In the midst of the protests started by Amini’s passing, Iran on Wednesday warned its neighbors, especially Saudi Arabia, that it would retaliate against attempts to destabilize it. Esmail Khatib, the minister of intelligence, said, “I would like to emphasize to Saudi Arabia that our future and that of other countries in the area are linked to each other.
“Iran has so far employed a strategy of strategic patience, but it cannot guarantee that it will do so if hostilities against it persist. According to Khatib, if the Islamic Republic chooses to punish these nations, “their glass palaces would crumble and they will no longer enjoy stability.” The minister also issued a warning to Britain that it would “pay” for tolerating Persian-language media that was critical of the Amini protests.