Iran Challenges Trump’s Administration with New Ballistic Test

The new Iranian long range missile Khoramshahr (front) is displayed during the annual military parade. AFP
The new Iranian long range missile Khoramshahr (front) is displayed during the annual military parade. AFP
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Iran Challenges Trump’s Administration with New Ballistic Test

The new Iranian long range missile Khoramshahr (front) is displayed during the annual military parade. AFP
The new Iranian long range missile Khoramshahr (front) is displayed during the annual military parade. AFP

Iran announced on Saturday it had successfully tested a new medium-range ballistic missile in a new challenge to US President Donald Trump’s administration that hinted at the possibility of withdrawing from the Nuclear Deal.

Iran said the Khorramshahr ballistic missile can travel up to a range of 2,000 km and carries several warheads.

The state television carried footage of the launch and showed images of the missile without specifying the exact date when the photos were taken.

However, at a military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, an Iranian official said on Friday that the Khorramshahr would be capable to operate in a short time.

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said on Saturday foreign pressures would not affect Iran’s missile program.

“On the path to improve our country’s defensive capacity we will certainly not be the least affected by any threats and we won’t ask anyone’s permission,” he said in remarks carried by state television.

The Nuclear Deal between Tehran and major powers does not ban Iran’s ballistic activities. However, UN Security Council Resolution 2231 calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.

Iranian officials say all of the country’s missiles are designed to carry only conventional and not nuclear warheads and that Tehran does not have a program to develop nuclear weapons.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country refuses any restrictions on its ballistic program.

“Whether you like it or not, we are going to strengthen our military capabilities which are necessary for deterrence,” Rouhani said on Friday.

Trump is due to report to Congress on October 15 on whether Iran is still complying with the Nuclear Deal.

The US president said last Wednesday that he already made his decision in this regard but was still not ready to reveal it.

Both the European Union and Russia asked the US president not to withdraw from the deal with Tehran.

The calls did not stop French President Emmanuel Macron to assert that the deal was not sufficient anymore, adding that Iran should halt its destabilizing ballistic activities in the region, especially in Syria.



North Korean Official Criticizes US for Expanding Support for Ukraine 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un smile during their meeting at the Pyongyang Sunan International Airport outside Pyongyang, North Korea, on June 19, 2024. (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un smile during their meeting at the Pyongyang Sunan International Airport outside Pyongyang, North Korea, on June 19, 2024. (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
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North Korean Official Criticizes US for Expanding Support for Ukraine 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un smile during their meeting at the Pyongyang Sunan International Airport outside Pyongyang, North Korea, on June 19, 2024. (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un smile during their meeting at the Pyongyang Sunan International Airport outside Pyongyang, North Korea, on June 19, 2024. (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

A top North Korean military official on Monday criticized the United States over its expanding military assistance to Ukraine, reaffirming the reclusive state's support for Moscow in the Ukraine war, according to state media KCNA.

Washington and Seoul have been increasingly alarmed by deepening military cooperation between Russia and the North, and have accused them of violating international laws by trading in arms for Russia to use against Ukraine. Moscow and Pyongyang have denied any arms transfer.

A pact signed by Russia's Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during Putin's visit to Pyongyang last week commits each side to provide immediate military assistance to the other in the event of armed aggression against either one of them.

Putin on Monday thanked Kim for his hospitality during the trip which brought ties to an unprecedented level, the Kremlin said on Monday.

Analysts say the pact would lay the framework for arms trade between the two countries and facilitate their anti-US and anti-West coalition.

Pak Jong Chon, one of North Korea's top military officials, said Russia has the "right to opt for any kind of retaliatory strike" in a statement carried by KCNA on Monday, adding if Washington kept pushing Ukraine to a "proxy war" against Russia, it could provoke a stronger response from Moscow, and a "new world war".

He referred to comments by the Pentagon last week that Ukrainian forces can use US-supplied weapons to strike Russian forces anywhere across the border into Russia.

Senior officials of South Korea, the US and Japan condemned "in the strongest possible terms" deepening military cooperation between North Korea and Russia in a joint statement released by Seoul's foreign ministry on Monday.

Russia may have received about 1.6 million artillery shells from North Korea from August to January, the Washington Post reported on Saturday, analyzing data from a US security nonprofit C4ADS that shows 74,000 metric tons of explosives moved from Russia's far east ports to other sites mainly along the borders near Ukraine.

Putin's mutual defense agreement with North Korea has the potential to create friction with China, which has long been the isolated state's main ally, the top US military officer said on Sunday.

North Korea plans to send construction and engineering forces to Russia-occupied territories of Ukraine as early as next month for rebuilding work, a South Korean cable TV network TV Chosun reported earlier, citing a South Korean government official.

Those forces, working overseas under the disguise of construction workers to earn hard currency for the regime, would be moved from China to those Russia-held regions, the network said. South Korea's foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment on the TV Chosun reports.