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Iran Claims to Develop Hypersonic Missile as It Nears Nuclear Breakout

Iran claimed Tuesday that it has developed a hypersonic missile that can evade all defense systems, American and Israeli, and that has a 1,400-km range capable of reaching targets throughout Israel and the Middle East.

The claims, which could not be verified independently, came as Iran nears the point of nuclear breakout, amassing highly-enriched uranium that has no civilian use, and that is nearing weapons-grade levels.

The Associated Press reported:

Iran claimed on Tuesday that it had created a hypersonic missile capable of traveling at 15 times the speed of sound, adding a new weapon to its arsenal as tensions remain high with the United States over Tehran’s nuclear program.

The new missile — called Fattah, or “Conqueror” in Farsi — was unveiled even as Iran said it would reopen its diplomatic posts on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia after reaching a détente with Riyadh following years of conflict.

Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace program, unveiled what appeared to be a model of the missile. Hajizadeh claimed the missile had a range of up to 1,400 kilometers (870 miles).

That’s about mid-range for Iran’s expansive ballistic missile arsenal, which the Guard has built up over the years as Western sanctions largely prevent it from accessing advanced weaponry.

The key component of a hypersonic missile is a movable nozzle, which allows the missile to change course and frustrate the calculations of missile defense systems. The Fattah appeared to have such a movable nozzle.

Russia and China are thought to be ahead of the U.S. in developing hypersonic missile technology. Both Russia and China maintain good relations with Iran, despite past efforts by the U.S. to isolate the Iranian regime.

Israel has long said that it will not permit Iran to become a nuclear power capable of threatening the existence of the Jewish state, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is said to be personally focused on stopping Iran.

The Biden administration has tried to revive talks with Iran on restoring the 2015 nuclear deal, to no avail. That earlier deal was widely criticized because it allowed Iran to become a nuclear power after roughly a decade.


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