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Iran Test-Fires A New, Precision-Guided Ballistic Missile

This picture, released by the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry on Sunday, claims to show the launching of an Emad long-range ballistic surface-to-surface missile in an undisclosed location.

Iran showed off a new, precision-guided ballistic missile on state television Sunday.

"The Emad missile is able to strike targets with a high level of precision and completely destroy them ... This greatly increases Iran's strategic deterrence capability," Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said at a televised news conference, according to Reuters.

Dehqan said that this is the first long-range missile that can be precision guided all the way to its target.

The question now is whether the apparently successful test violates the terms of Iran's nuclear agreement with the United States and five other world powers.

As The New York Times reports, a resolution passed by the United Nations shortly after a deal was struck in Vienna specifies that Iran is not allowed to develop missiles "designed to carry nuclear warheads."

The Times reports:

"In recent decades, with Iran's air force plagued by economic sanctions and other restrictions, the country has invested heavily in its nuclear program and has produced missiles that can reach as far as Europe.

"'We don't seek permission from anyone to strengthen our defense and missile capabilities,' Mr. Dehghan said."

Reuters adds:

"Michael Elleman, senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), said it would probably take Iran 'many years... and dozens of flight tests' to master the new guidance technology.

"In August, Iran unveiled a new short-range missile named Fateh-313, which it said also offered improved precision over its predecessor, as part of an apparent drive to upgrade the accuracy of its missile arsenal.

"'What has become increasingly clear is Iran's desire to enhance missile accuracy and lethality, a priority that very likely supersedes the need for seeking longer-range missiles,' Elleman said."

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