TEHRAN (Dispatches) – The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on Sunday unveiled three military products manufactured domestically to enhance the country’s defense power.
One of them was Qare’a, a rocket launcher made of lightweight composite designed to target enemy fortifications, director of the Self-Sufficiency Jihad Organization of the IRGC Ground Force General Ali Koohestani said.
The eight-kilogram launcher uses the soft launching technology, where the missile is launched in such a way that the rocket motor ignites outside the launch tube.
The weapon is produced in an 80 mm caliber version and its effective range is 250 meters, the general said.
The second product was the Nafez-2 anti-armor launcher. The man-portable recoilless launcher weighs 19 kilograms. It can use anti-armor and anti-fortification ammunition, he stated.
The IRGC also unveiled a high-precision sniper rifle dubbed Ashtar. It has a caliber of 7.62×64 millimeters. Its effective range is 800 to 1000 meters and it has a zoom scope of 24X, he added.
On Saturday, the chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said the force is to receive "surprise systems” in the near future as he dismissed a U.S. bid to extend an arms embargo on Iran, stressing that it would have no effect on the country’s defense capabilities.
"On the one hand, there are arms embargoes in place, and on the other, the U.S. and its cronies are among the threats to us,” Major General Hussein Salami said in a news conference following his visit to an exhibition of IRGC achievements here.
"This arms embargo gave our scientists an opportunity to meet the country’s defense needs by drawing on domestic potential,” he said.
Salami said Iran is has reached self-sufficiency when it comes to producing land weapons systems.
"What the outsiders are saying about extending the arms embargo has no effect on our defense, and we will see the arrival of surprise systems in the near future,” he said.
The IRGC on Saturday unveiled four new homegrown military products, including reconnaissance drone with a service ceiling of 12,000 feet.
One of the products was the BTR-50 personnel carrier, a modified version of Makran personnel carrier, which enjoys an improved body and a new turret.
Another product unveiled by the IRGC was Me’raj-1 drone.
The reconnaissance UAV has a service ceiling of 12,000 feet and a maximum speed of 140 km/h.
The IRGC chief also unveiled
So’ban-1 machine gun, a modified version of Russian-made RPD machine gun.
Another major achievement of the IRGC unveiled Saturday was a ground-penetrating radar system used for detection of landmines and roadside bombs.
Mounted on a vehicle travelling at a speed of 10 km/h, the radar system can detect explosives hidden in the ground at a depth of up to 30 cm at a distance of 30 meters.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted on Tuesday that Washington wanted to extend the arms embargo against Iran in order to prevent them from purchasing new weapons.
The Iranian Air Force received three locally-made Kowsar (thunderbolt) combat aircraft on Thursday, with Defense Minister Amir Hatami saying "America has conceded that Iran, despite the continuous sanctions imposed on it for 40 years, has managed to reach a deterrent force that cannot be underestimated”.
Iran, the minister said, will not receive approval from "America and others with to develop and expand Iran’s defense capability”.
Iran says the Kowsar is 100-percent indigenously made and able to carry various weapons and is to be used for short aerial support missions.
An expiring United Nations weapons embargo on Iran must remain in place, the U.S. special representative to Iran said Sunday.
Brian Hook told The Associated Press that the world should ignore Iran’s threats to retaliate if the arms embargo set to expire in October is extended. Among its options, the Islamic Republic could expel international inspectors monitoring Iran’s nuclear program.
The UN arms embargo so far has stopped Iran from purchasing fighter jets, tanks, warships and other weaponry. Hook argued both an import and export ban on Tehran must remain in place.
Hook made the comments while on a visit to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the U.S.-allied United Arab Emirates, as part of a Mideast tour. Hook met Saturday with Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and planned Sunday to meet with other officials. Hook declined to say where else he would travel on his trip.
The United Nations banned Iran from buying major foreign weapon systems in 2010 amid tensions over its nuclear program. That blocked Iran from replacing its equipment, much of which had been purchased by the shah before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. An earlier embargo targeted Iranian arms exports.
If the embargo is lifted, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency predicted in 2019 that Iran likely would try to purchase Russian Su-30 fighter jets, Yak-130 trainer aircraft and T-90 tanks. Tehran also may try to buy Russia’s S-400 anti-aircraft missile system and its Bastian coastal defense missile system, the DIA said.
Iran long has been outmatched by U.S.-backed Persian Gulf nations like the UAE, which have purchased billions of dollars of advanced American weaponry. In response, Tehran turned toward developing ballistic missiles as a deterrent.
Hook maintained that the UN’s ban on Iran exporting weapons abroad also needed to remain in place.
"I don’t think anyone believes that Iran’s behavior merits loosening restrictions on their ability to move weapons,” Hook said.