Posts Tagged ‘Saudi King Salman’

King Salman receives outgoing Lebanese premier

November 6, 2017

Saudi King Salman receives outgoing Lebanese Premier Saad Al-Hariri in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)

Saudi King Salman receives outgoing Lebanese Premier Saad Al-Hariri in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
JEDDAH: King Salman received on Monday Lebanon’s outgoing Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri, who resigned on Saturday citing meddling in his country by Iran and the Hezbollah terrorist group.
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Al-Hariri said in a speech that he believed there was an assassination plot against him.
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He accused Tehran and its ally Hezbollah of sowing strife and chaos in the region.
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 http://www.arabnews.com/node/1189181/saudi-arabia
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Arab Media Idolized Qatar Royals Who Left Home to Live Abroad — Both called this week to convene a meeting of the Qatari ruling family to “discuss the crisis.”

September 22, 2017

By Aziz El Yaakoubi

Saudi King Says Kingdom Has Made Progress in Tackling Terrorism — Muslim haj pilgrimage ending without incident

September 2, 2017

MECCA, Saudi Arabia — Saudi King Salman, receiving dignitaries attending the annual Muslim haj pilgrimage, said on Saturday the kingdom had made progress in eradicating terrorism aimed at attacking its holy sites, state news agency SPA reported.

Image result for Saudi King Salman, after hajj, Photos

Saudi King Salman

Saudi Arabia, which stakes its reputation on its guardianship of Islam’s holiest sites and organizing the haj, has been hit by bombings in recent years and uncovered plots to carry out attacks in Mecca.

“The limbs of terrorism have sought to harm the holy cities, paying no attention to their sanctity,” SPA quoted King Salman as telling foreign dignitaries at a reception he held in Mecca, where more than 2 million pilgrims are performing haj.

“But the kingdom, by the grace of God and in cooperation with its sisters and friends, has made big successes in eradicating terrorism and has worked decisively and with determination to dry its sources,” he added, without elaborating.

Salman also said Saudi Arabia had devoted all its material and human resources to ensure the safety of pilgrims who come from all over the world to perform the five-day ritual, a religious duty to be undertaken once in a lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford the journey.

Haj 2017

“We are determined, with God’s permission, to continue to provide the highest level of services for the two holy mosques … to ensure the safety of those who seek the sacred house of God,” he said.

The pilgrimage has frequently been hit by stampedes and fires. In the most recent incident, hundreds of pilgrims were killed in a crush two years ago.

 Image result for Mecca, Hajj, 2017, photos

(Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

Saudi Arabia still has many cards to play in Qatar crisis

August 22, 2017

Bloomberg

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing

Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz (left ) with Qatari Shaikh Abdullah Bin Ali Al Thani in Tangier last week. SPA photo

Dubai: A little-known Qatari shaikh has been thrust into the limelight as a Saudi Arabia-led bloc tries to wring concessions from his nation to end the political feud dividing the Arabian Gulf.

Shaikh Abdullah Bin Ali Al Thani, a descendant of Qatar’s founder, was welcomed warmly in Saudi Arabia by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, then jetted off to Morocco, where Saudi King Salman hosted him at his vacation spot in Tangier. And while the Qatari government said the shaikh was on a personal visit, some media outlets close to the alliance portrayed his meetings as a triumphant diplomatic effort.

Shaikh Abdullah said King Salman and his son agreed to open Qatar’s only land border, snapped shut on June 5, to allow Muslim pilgrims to travel to the holy city of Makkah. The king even offered to dispatch planes at his own expense to fly in others and set up an operations centre under the shaikh’s command to help Qataris entangled in the crisis.

Saudi Arabia and allies that severed diplomatic and transport links with Qatar in June have denied seeking regime change in Doha, making the emergence and front-page treatment of the shaikh a surprising development. Promoting him is probably part of a plan to add pressure on Qatari ruler Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, who has refused to capitulate to the bloc’s 13 conditions for ending the feud, said Abdul Khaleq Abdullah, a political analyst in the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt accuse Qatar of destabilising the Middle East by supporting Islamist groups.

“Saudi Arabia has many pressure tools that it hasn’t used until now and this is one of them,” Abdullah said, adding that he doesn’t believe the alliance is currently pursuing a policy to change the Qatari leadership.

Yet should Saudi Arabia decide that is needed, it can mobilise a support network within Qatari society and the ruling family “to spur a palace coup,” he said.

Al Bayan, a Dubai-owned daily, described Shaikh Abdullah on its front page as “the voice of reason to whom the hearts of Qataris have opened.”

It also said that he’s known for being “widely accepted within the Al Thani family in particular, and Qataris in general.” The shaikh is a scion of a ruling family branch that was in power for decades until 1972. His brother, Ahmad, was deposed in 1972 by Shaikh Tamim’s grandfather, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya news network said.

The shaikh’s diplomatic exploits have turned him into an instant social media celebrity. Within three days of joining Twitter, his account has attracted more than 250,000 followers. He gave out contact details of the operations center. Underscoring his reach, he said he also spoke with the Saudi central bank governor, who denied that banks in the kingdom had stopped “giving out Qatari riyals to Qatari citizens.”

“The king has honored me by accepting my mediation on behalf of my people in Qatar,” he wrote.

Other mediation efforts by Kuwait’s emir and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who visited the region last month, have failed to resolve the dispute.

Andreas Krieg, a lecturer in the department of defense studies at King’s College in London, said the shaikh is a London-based businessman with commercial interests in the Gulf, but lacks public support that would help propel him to power. His emergence, however, serves as a way of telling Qatari leaders and global powers that the crisis is far from over, he said.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/qatar/qatar-crisis/saudi-arabia-proves-it-has-many-cards-to-play-in-qatar-crisis-1.2078080

Saudi King Calls For Arrest of Prince Seen Abusing Someone in Video

July 20, 2017

AFP

© Saudi Royal Palace/AFP/File | Saudi King Salman, pictured here in July 2017, issued an arrest warrant for a prince accused of abusing members of the public in videos that surfaced online

RIYADH (AFP) – A Saudi prince was arrested Thursday on King Salman’s order, a state-run broadcaster reported, as outrage grew on social media over videos appearing to show him abusing members of the public.Salman issued a warrant for “the immediate arrest … and imprisonment” of Prince Saud, a descendent of Saudi Arabia’s founder, along with a group of men who appeared in the videos uploaded to YouTube, Al-Ikhbariya television reported.

A video circulating on social media showed police escorting the young prince — one of the thousands of members of the royal family — out of a house in handcuffs.

The arrest came after the prince, whose face can clearly be seen in some of the videos shared via Twitter Wednesday, unleashed a wave of verbal and physical abuse on Saudis and foreigners.

“You park by my house, you … eunuch, I’ll screw your mother in her grave,” he says to a dazed driver bleeding from the mouth, his clothes splattered with blood.

“Do you understand?” he asks the man, who nods and turns away.

In another video, a man moaning and clutching his head is led out of a house with an automatic rifle pointed at his back.

The prince also pummels a man cowering in a chair who waits for him to pause and insists, “Honest to God, I didn’t do anything. I swear to God.”

The videos have sparked anger on social media, with users identifying as Saudi citizens calling for the prince to be put on trial.

“No matter who you are — prince, minister, citizen — no one is above the law,” read one tweet.

The victims in the videos will be called to testify in court, according to a royal decree carried by Al-Ikhbariya.

Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s highest rates of execution and widely imposes harsh sentences for criminal offences.

In a highly unusual case, the kingdom last year executed a prince convicted of murder.

© 2017 AFP

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Turkey sends first cargo ship with aid for Qatar

June 22, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Turkey has already sent over 100 planes with food and other aid for Qatar but this is the first time a cargo ship has embarked on the voyage to Doha
ISTANBUL (AFP) – Turkey on Thursday sent its first ship loaded with aid for its embattled regional ally Qatar which has been hit by sanctions from Gulf powers led by Saudi Arabia, state media said.

Turkey has already sent over 100 planes with food and other aid for Qatar but this is the first time a cargo ship has embarked on the voyage to Doha.

The ship left the Aegean port of Aliaga in Izmir province with around 4,000 tonnes of fruit, vegetables and other foodstuffs on board, the Anadolu news agency said. It should arrive in 10 days.

Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain broke off relations with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting “terrorism”, leaving Doha economically and politically isolated.

But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan immediately vowed to support Qatar.

Ankara vehemently rejected the accusations — already strongly denied by Doha — that Qatar supports terrorism, arguing the country had been a staunch opponent of Islamic State (IS) jihadists.

Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said Wednesday that Turkey had already sent 105 cargo flights to Qatar loaded with aid to help the country through the crisis.

The crisis has put Turkey in a delicate position as Ankara regards Qatar as its chief ally in the Gulf but is also keen to maintain its improving relations with the key regional power Saudi Arabia.

Ankara has stopped short of directly criticising Saudi Arabia’s actions, merely calling on Riyadh to take a lead role in solving the crisis.

In a sign of the importance of the relations with Riyadh, Erdogan late Wednesday held phone talks with Saudi King Salman after the sudden appointment of his son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince in place of Mohammed bin Nayef.

Erdogan also spoke with Mohammed bin Salman himself and passed on his congratulations over the move, Anadolu said.

Both sides expressed a commitment to further strengthen relations between Ankara and Riyadh and to “step up efforts” to end the tensions concerning Qatar, it added.

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey had been been damaged by Riyadh’s role in the 2013 ousting of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, a close ally of Ankara.

But ties thawed considerably after the accession of Salman to the throne in 2015, with the king warmly welcomed on visits to Turkey.

U.S. President Donald Trump Meets With Saudi King Salman — Arab-Islamic-American Summit on Fishting the Islamic State Terrorists Begins Tomorrow

May 20, 2017

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — President Donald Trump opened his first trip abroad since taking office, touching down Saturday in Saudi Arabia for a visit aimed at building stronger partnerships to combat terrorism in the region and moving past the controversies engulfing his young administration.

Trump flew to Riyadh overnight on Air Force One and was greeted by an elaborate welcoming ceremony at Riyadh’s airport, punctuated by a military flyover and a handshake from Saudi King Salman. Trump is the only American president to make Saudi Arabia, or any majority Muslim country, his first stop overseas as president — a scheduling choice designed in part to show respect to the region after months of harsh anti-Muslim campaign rhetoric.

The president’s stop in Saudi Arabia kicks off an ambitious international debut. After two days of meetings in Riyadh, Trump will travel to Israel, have an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, and meet with allies at a NATO summit in Brussels and the Group of 7 wealthy nations in Sicily.

As he arrived, the president waved from the doorway of Air Force One and then descended the steps, joined by First Lady Melania Trump. The 81-year-old King Salman, who used a cane for support, was brought to the steps of the plane on a golf cart. The two leaders exchanged pleasantries and Trump said it was “a great honor” to be there.

Several jets then flew overhead leaving a red, white and blue trail.

White House officials hope the trip marks an opportunity for Trump to recalibrate after one of the most difficult stretches of his young presidency. The White House badly bungled the president’s stunning firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing the federal investigation into possible ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia. On Wednesday, the Justice Department relented to calls from Democrats to name a special counsel, tapping former FBI chief Robert Mueller to lead the probe.

As Trump flew to Saudi Arabia, more reports stemming from the Russia investigation surfaced. The New York Times reported that Trump called Comey “a real nut job” while discussing the ongoing investigation with two Russian officials visiting the White House earlier this month. He also told them that firing Comey had “taken off” the “great pressure” he was feeling from the investigation, the Times reported.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported that an unidentified senior Trump adviser was being considered a “person of interest” in the law enforcement investigation. In addition, Comey agreed to testify at an open hearing of the Senate intelligence committee in the near future, the panel said.

Despite his domestic troubles, Trump was expected to get a warm reception in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom’s ruling family grew deeply frustrated with former President Barack Obama’s detente with Iran and his restrained approach to the conflict in Syria. The king did not greet Obama at the airport during his final visit to the nation last year.

Saudi Arabia offered Trump an elaborate welcome ahead of his two-day stay. Billboards featuring the image of Trump and the king dotted the highways of Riyadh and lights bathed Trump’s luxury hotel in red, white and blue lights and, at times, an image of the president’s face.

Trump and the king met briefly in the airport terminal for coffee before the president headed to his hotel ahead of the day’s other meetings. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told reporters on Air Force One that Trump spent the flight meeting with staff, working on his upcoming speech to the Muslim world and getting a little sleep.

Melania Trump wore a black pantsuit with a golden belt and did not cover her head, consistent with custom for foreign dignitaries visiting Saudi Arabia.

For a president who campaigned on an “America First” platform, the trip is a crucial moment for U.S. allies to size up his commitment to decades-long partnerships.

“President Trump understands that America First does not mean America alone,” said H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser. “Prioritizing American interests means strengthening alliances and partnerships that help us extend our influence and improve the security of the American people.”

In a sweetener for Saudi Arabia, U.S. officials said the Trump administration plans to announce $110 billion in advanced military equipment sales and training to the kingdom during the president’s trip. The package includes tanks, combat ships, missile defense systems, radar and communications and cybersecurity technology.

Trump will spend much of Saturday meeting with King Salman and other members of the royal family, culminating with a banquet dinner at the Murabba Palace. On Sunday, he’ll hold meetings with more than 50 Arab and Muslim leaders heading converging on Riyadh for a regional summit focused largely on combating the Islamic State and other extremist groups.

Trump dodged one potential land mine when Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted on war crime and genocide charges, announced that he would not attend the summit for personal reasons.

The centerpiece of Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia will be a speech Sunday at the Arab-Islamic-American summit. White House aides view the address as a counter to Obama’s 2009 speech to the Muslim world, which Trump advisers view as too apologetic for U.S. actions in the region.

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Saudi King welcomed US President Donald Trump and the first lady upon their arrival at Riyadh’s King Khalid Airport early Saturday.

They received an elaborate welcome with trumpets, cannon and a red-white-and-blue flyover – a welcome break from the bad news that keeps on following the US President from home.

He will meet first with King Salman and other Saudi royal ministers and then sign a long-negotiated $100bn arms deal with the oil kingdom.

With a major speech to dozens of invited Arab and Muslim rulers, he hopes to “reset” relations with the Muslim world for a new global focus on the fight against Islamic terrorism.

http://beforeitsnews.com/israel/2017/05/king-salmon-greets-trump-on-arrival-in-saudi-arabia-2474228.html

Saudi king hopeful over ‘historic’ Muslim-US summit

May 15, 2017

AFP

© Saudi Royal Palace/AFP | Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, in a handout picture provided by the royal palace on April 24, 2017

RIYADH (AFP) – 

Saudi King Salman on Monday expressed hope a “historic” summit to be held Sunday between Arab and Muslim nations and US President Donald Trump will enhance ties and promote tolerance.

The summit will be one of three forums held during a visit by Trump, who is making Saudi Arabia his first overseas stop since assuming office in January.

Trump has frequently been accused of fuelling Islamophobia but aides described his decision to visit Saudi Arabia as an effort to reset relations with the Muslim world.

Along with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), at least 18 other Muslim nations have been invited to the summit, including Turkey, Azerbaijan, Niger and Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population.

Saudi Arabia’s regional rival Iran is not invited.

Salman told a cabinet meeting in the Red Sea city of Jeddah that the meeting “comes in light of the challenges and sensitive situations that the world is going through”.

According to the official Saudi Press Agency, “he expressed his hope that this historic summit will establish a new partnership in the face of extremism and terrorism and spreading the values of tolerance and coexistence” while enhancing security.

Trump is to also hold a bilateral summit with Saudi Arabia and talks with the GCC on Saturday.

Washington and Riyadh have a decades-old relationship based on the exchange of American security for Saudi oil.

But US ties with Riyadh and its Gulf neighbours became increasingly frayed during the administration of president Barack Obama.

Saudi leaders felt Obama was reluctant to get involved in the civil war in Syria and was tilting toward Shiite-dominated Iran.

The Saudis have found a more favourable ear in Washington under Trump, who has denounced Iran’s “harmful influence” in the Middle East.

Angela Merkel, in Saudi Arabia, Calls for an End to Saudi-Led Airstrikes in Yemen — Saudi Arabia Says: “We can do without more German weapons”

May 1, 2017

A Saudi official has told “Der Spiegel’ magazine that good relations with Berlin come before arms deals. This comes as Chancellor Merkel, on a visit to the kingdom, called for an end to Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen.

Saudi-Arabien Angela Merkel, Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz (picture-alliance/AP Photo/Saudi Press Agency)

Saudi Arabia intends to refrain in future from asking for more weapons from Germany, and to concentrate instead on economic cooperation in other sectors, according to an interview in the German news magazine “Der Spiegel” published on Sunday.

“We accept the German reticence with regard to exports to Saudi Arabia; we know the political background,” Saudi Deputy Economy Minister Mohammed al-Tuwaijri told the magazine.

Merkel: ‘No military solution’ in Yemen
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“We will not cause any more problems for the German government with new requests for weapons,” he added.

Al-Tuwaijri said the reason for the change was a desire for closer cooperation with Berlin in areas other than arms, with Riyadh aiming to make Germany one of its “very most important economic partners.”

“Relations with Germany are much more important to us than arguing about weapons deals,” he said.

Controversial – but lucrative – issue

German weapons deals with Saudi Arabia have been controversial for many years, with the kingdom frequently the target of criticism for its poor human rights record.

Among other issues, the country’s involvement in the long-running war in Yemen, in which many civilians have died in airstrikes carried out by warplanes from a Saudi-led Arab coalition, has raised fears that German arms were being misused.

According to preliminary figures, in 2016 Germany exported armaments to Saudi Arabia to the tune of more than half a billion euros.

Read more: Saudi intervention leaves trail of death

Infografik Deutsche WaffenexporteGermany is a major arms exporter

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Civilian casualties

The interview was published as Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in the kingdom on Sunday for talks with Saudi King Salman and other officials. There were no representatives of armaments companies in the business delegation accompanying her, though the German government has previously said that weapons could still be delivered to Saudi Arabia on a case-by-case basis.

At the talks in the commercial hub of Jeddah, Merkel called for an end to the Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen.

“We believe in the UN-led process of diplomatic resolution,” she said. “We do not think that there can be a military solution to this conflict.”

Saudi-Arabien Merkel neben König Salman im Königspalast (picture-alliance/dpa/K. Nietfeld)Merkel’s visit is aimed at deepening economic and security ties

She said something had to be done to prevent even more people in the already impoverished country from being brought into an “extremely bad humanitarian situation,” while conceding that Saudi Arabia was not the only party that had to accept compromises.

The Saudi government has been intervening in the war in Yemen for more than two years, leading a Sunni Arab coalition that has been bombing positions of Shiite Houthi rebels, which Riyadh sees as proxy forces for its regional rival, Iran. In view of the large number of civilian casualties in the strikes, even the United States, a close ally of the kingdom, has called for the attacks to cease.

Radpanzer Boxer (picture-alliance/dpa)A Boxer tank

Military and police training

Despite German reservations about Saudi military actions, an agreement was signed during Merkel’s visit that provides for German Bundeswehr soldiers to help train their Saudi counterparts, a government spokesman in Berlin said.

Under the deal, Saudi soldiers are to receive training at Bundeswehr facilities, the spokesman said, giving no further details.

A declaration of intent was also signed on police training cooperation, according to information from the government. The scheme would see German federal police giving instruction to Saudi border police, among other things.

 http://www.dw.com/en/saudi-arabia-wants-no-more-german-weapons-report/a-38647662

Iran Tests Another Ballistic Missile — “A failed test of a reentry vehicle”

January 30, 2017

Iran has conducted another ballistic missile test, Fox News in the U.S. is reporting.

More to follow…

Related:

 (In a phone call with President Trump, Saudi King Salman stressed the importance of closely monitoring Iran’s compliance with the Iran Nuclear deal…)

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Iran conducts ballistic missile test, US officials say

How would Gen. Mattis handle threat posed by Iran?

Iran on Sunday conducted a ballistic missile test in yet another apparent violation of a United Nations resolution, U.S. officials told Fox News.

The launch occurred at a well-known test site outside Semnan, about 140 miles east of Tehran.

The missile was a Khorramshahr medium range ballistic missile and traveled 600 miles before exploding, in a failed test of a reentry vehicle, officials said.

U.N. resolution 2231 — put in place days after the Iran nuclear deal was signed — calls on the Islamic Republic not to conduct such tests, however, this is at least Iran’s second such test since July. The resolution bars Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests for eight years and went into effect July 20, 2015.

Iran is “called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology,” according to the text of the resolution.

The landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers does not include provisions preventing Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests.

Iran claims its ballistic missile tests are legitimate because they are not designed to carry a nuclear warhead.

Lucas Tomlinson is the Pentagon and State Department producer for Fox News Channel. You can follow him on Twitter: @LucasFoxNews

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/01/30/iran-conducts-ballistic-missile-test-us-officials-say.html

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25 Sep 2016 18:48:03 GMT
Service: Iran
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Iran Says It Is Able To Produce Any Kind of Missile
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Three types of missiles to be unveiled
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Iran’s defense minister said on Sunday Iran is now capable of designing and producing missiles with any range as well as any level of precision and destructive power.

Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan made the remarks at a plenary session of the Iran’s Parliament on Sunday, IRNA reported.

Dehqan also said the Islamic Republic is set to unveil three new types of missiles in the coming months, adding that state-of-the-art ballistic missile Zolfaqar has been put on the production line.

Iran is observing the Sacred Defense Week, which marks the 36th anniversary of the eight-year Iraqi war against the country.

“We will begin manufacturing three fundamental products in the area of missile [development] by the end of the year,” said the Iranian minister, stressing that the latest defense achievements will greatly promote the country’s defense might.

“These three missiles include Qadir, Sejil (solid-fuel long-range models) as well as high-precision Khorramshahr,” he added.

He further announced that Iran has now launched the production line of precision-guided solid-fuel anti-radar jamming missile Zolfaqar, Press TV reported.

Zolfaqar, with a range of 750 kilometers, is a multiple reentry vehicle (MRV) missile capable of carrying several warheads.

It is the latest generation of Iran’s long-range missiles and can carry out precision strikes against targets on the ground and airport tarmacs.

The missile was unveiled during a recent large-scale naval parade in Iran’s port city of Bandar Abbas.

Iran is now capable of designing and producing missiles with any range as well as any level of precision and destructive power when it comes to cruise types and the ones using solid or liquid fuel, he added.

In the future, Iran will develop ground-to-ground ballistic missiles that can hit maritime targets far away, Dehqan pointed out.

“In the area of missile defense, we know no limits to our might, and that is why we will continue to boost our defense power as scheduled,” Dehqan said.

He said Iran is the only country that enjoys peace and stability in a region severely troubled by violence, adding that the Islamic Republic is the standard-bearer of the fight against terror and leaves no stone unturned to restore calm to the region.

In recent years, Iran has made major breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing important military equipment and systems.

Iran has also conducted military drills to enhance the defense capabilities of its armed forces and to test modern military tactics and state-of-the-art army equipment.

The Islamic Republic maintains that its military might poses no threat to other countries, stating that its defense doctrine is merely based on deterrence.

http://www.iran-daily.com/News/169264.html