The US termed Iran’s missile program a “serious threat” on Thursday, after the clerical state unveiled a new type with its longest range to far.
“Iran’s development, and proliferation of, ballistic missiles poses a serious threat to regional and international security and remains a significant non-proliferation challenge,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.
According to Iran’s defense ministry, the Kheibar missile would have a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) and will be capable of carrying warheads weighing more than one tonne.
The announcement comes after talks on reviving a nuclear deal broke down, with Iran promising to reduce its activities in exchange for sanctions relief.
The 2015 agreement, which was slammed by former US President Donald Trump and denounced by Israel, did not address Iran’s missile program directly.
President Joe Biden’s administration has virtually abandoned the prospect of sanctions easing as part of a deal, particularly after Iran was swept by massive protests against the religious authority.
“An Iran with a nuclear weapon would likely act even more provocatively, and that’s why we are so committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons,” Miller said.