Iran announces missile production line

Iran announced the launch of a new missile production line on Saturday, according to state media, against a backdrop of tension between the US and Tehran.

The Sayyad 3 missile can reach an altitude of 27km (16 miles) and travel up to 120km (74 miles), Iranian Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan said at a ceremony.

The missile can target fighter planes, unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles and helicopters, Mr Dehghan said.

Last week, the US slapped new economic sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program, and said Tehran’s “malign activities” in the Middle East undercut any “positive contributions” coming from a 2015 Iran nuclear accord.

The measures signalled that the administration of President Donald Trump was seeking to put more pressure on Iran while keeping in place the agreement between Tehran and six world powers to curb its nuclear program in return for lifting international oil and financial sanctions.

The US Government said it was targeting 18 entities and people for supporting what it said were “illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity”.

Those sanctioned had backed Iran’s military or the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps by developing drones and military equipment, producing and maintaining boats, and procuring electronic components, it said.

Others had “orchestrated the theft of US and Western software programs” sold to Iran’s Government, the Treasury Department said.

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