Iran unveils new ballistic missile

Ballistic missileAFP

Iran's defence ministry on Thursday unveiled a new ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 kilometres (1,242 miles) and a capacity to carry warheads weighing over a tonne.

The Kheibar missile -- the latest version of the Khorramshahr which is Iran's longest-range missile to date -- was unveiled alongside a replica of the Al-Aqsa mosque in east Jerusalem, in a live broadcast on state television.

Iran's Defence Minister Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani said the missile was unveiled as part of moves to "provide comprehensive support to our friends and countries that are on the path of fighting against the domination system".

State news agency IRNA said the Kheibar is "a liquid fuel missile with a range of 2,000 kilometres and a 1,500 kilogrammes warhead".

Its name references the ancient town of Khaybar -- located in modern-day Saudi Arabia -- known for a decisive seventh-century battle in which the army of Prophet Mohammed defeated its thousands of Jewish residents.

According to state media, the speed of the high-mobility tactical missile "can reach Mach 16 outside the atmosphere and Mach 8 inside the atmosphere".

The unveiling comes amid heightened tensions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and just over 10 days into a fragile Gaza ceasefire that ended five days of cross border conflict between Israel and the Iran-backed Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad.