Iran has resumed the development of its military capabilities amid a wave of unrest and a pause in talks over reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Iran unveiled two big military achievements in a matter of two days, accelerating the development of military capabilities in space and missile defense systems.
On Saturday, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Force successfully test-launched a domestically-build space launch vehicle called Qaem-100, which uses a solid-propellant engine and can carry satellites weighing 80 kg into an orbit of 500 kilometers away from the Earth. The new SLV is expected to be used in launching another space achievement soon.
According to Iranian media, Qaem-100 will put Nahid, a satellite manufactured by the Iranian Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, into space in the near future. A day after the unveiling of Qaem-100, the Iranian ministry of defense unveiled an upgraded version of Bavar-373, a missile defense system that is now operating at a range of more than 300 km.
The new missile defense system was unveiled in the presence of Iran’s Minister of Defense, Mohammad Reza Ashtiyani, and the commander of the Iranian Army’s Air Defense Force, Alireza Sabahi Fard.
The Bavar-373 missile defense system can detect stationary targets at a range of 450 km and strike them within a range of 300 km. The upgraded system has been equipped with a new missile called Sayad B-4, which enjoys a solid-propellant engine and has been tested for the first time. The recent unveilings of military achievements grabbed global attention as Iran has not been announcing new military achievements for some time.
Also, they come at a time when the talks in Vienna over resuscitating the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), have come to a standstill for months, with no resumption date in sight. Iran has said the main reason for the hiatus in the Vienna talks is the Biden administration’s inability or unwillingness to make the necessary political decisions regarding the conclusion of the long-running Vienna talks.
In recent weeks, Biden officials have said that the JCPOA was no longer on their agenda, at least for now, and that they were focused on the unrest in Iran and the allegations that Iran is providing Russia with weaponry for use in the Ukraine war.
While the U.S. has lost interest in the JCPOA talks, Iran remains committed to the talks. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian reiterated Iran’s commitment to continuing the talks on Saturday. Speaking at the first meeting of the National Coordinators of the Group of Friends in Defense of the United Nations Charter, Amir Abdollahian said Iran is committed to continuing the nuclear talks with goodwill and based on mutual respect.
Facing a U.S. indifference toward diplomacy, Iran appears to moving in the direction of strengthening its military capabilities. This seems to be one message behind the new unveilings. “The message that Qaem missile carries is much more important and heavier than its warhead,” Mehdi Mohammadi, an advisor to the speaker of Iran’s parliament on strategic affairs and the mastermind behind many of parliament nuclear bills, said on Twitter.
From our partner Tehran Times