Iran Says Land-to-Sea Missiles Can Now Travel 435 Miles

LONDON (Reuters) -
A Ghader missile is launched from the area near the Iranian port of Jask port on the shore of the Gulf of Oman during an Iranian navy drill. (AP Photo/Jamejam Online, Azin Haghighi, File)

Iran has extended the range of its land-to-sea ballistic missiles to 700 km (435 miles), a senior Iranian military official said on Tuesday, as tensions over the weapons rise with the United States.

President Donald Trump withdrew from an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program in May, saying it was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran’s ballistic missiles program or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.

Iran, which says its missile program is purely defensive, has threatened to disrupt oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf if Washington tries to strangle Tehran’s oil exports.

“We have managed to make land-to-sea ballistic, not cruise, missiles that can hit any vessel or ship from 700 km,” Amirali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guards’ airspace division, was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.

He did not give details on the previous range of the missiles. In 2008, Iran displayed a ground-to-sea missile that it said could travel about 290 km (180.1 miles).

Speaking in a teleconference call on Monday, U.S. special envoy on Iran, Brian Hook, said that Tehran’s ballistic missile program was exacerbating tensions in Yemen, Iraq and Syria. “We are accumulating risk of regional conflict if we do not do more to deter Iran’s missile proliferation in the Middle East,” Hook said.