Iran claims it has missiles with multiple warheads

Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard celebrate after launching a missile, July 2012

Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard on Wednesday said it had acquired missiles with multiple warheads, the latest armaments advance to be claimed by the Islamic Republic.

At a ceremony Wednesday, Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan presented a delivery of four types of ballistic missiles — named Qiam, Qadr H1, Fateh-110 and Persian Gulf. The Qadr H1 and Qiam, he said, are equipped with multiple warheads, greatly boosting their destructive power.

“These missiles are able to hit and destroy enemy targets with precision, and they meet a variety of the armed forces’ needs,” Dehghan said. “The weapons have strengthened Iran’s deterrence power and military might,” he added, in comments were posted on the Guard’s website.

A rocket is seen on a ship seized by the Israeli navy in the Red Sea in this handout picture released by the Israel Defence Forces March 5, 2014

The announcement came as Israel’s military announced it had captured a covert maritime shipment of missiles from Iran bound for Gaza. Army officials said the soldiers searching the boat found several dozen advanced Syrian M-302 missiles, with a range of up to 200 kilometers (125 miles) and a payload of up to 170 kilograms (375 pounds).

Iran regularly announces breakthroughs in military technology that are impossible to independently verify. But the Pentagon released a rare public report in 2012 noting significant advances in Iranian missile technology, acknowledging that Tehran has improved their accuracy and firing capabilities.

Dehghan said Western sanctions have not stopped Iran from boosting its ability to deter its enemies, a reference to Israel and the US.

“Comprehensive sanctions enforced strictly by enemies … didn’t cause the slightest crack in our determination and will,” he said.

Many of Iran’s missiles use solid fuel, or a combination of both solid and liquid fuel, improving the accuracy of the weapons.

Iran has a variety of missiles, some with a reported range of 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles), enough to reach much of the Middle East. Military commanders have described them as a strategic asset and a strong deterrent, capable of hitting US bases or Israel in the event of a strike on Iran.