The Islamic Republic of Iran’s state media outlet, Tasnim news website, announced Wednesday it has obtained supersonic cruise missile technology and is engaging in tests that will “mark the beginning of a new chapter in the defense power of our country.”
According to reports, the new missiles could “significantly accelerate the Islamic Republic of Iran’s response time in case of any combat and take away attacking forces’ opportunity for reaction.”
“For several months Iran has claimed to have a hypersonic missile capability,” said Matthew RJ Brodsky, a senior fellow at the Gold Institute for International Strategy.
“What the regime in Tehran claims and what is true is not always the same thing. If it is true, it would be further confirmation of several points: First, the partnership between Iran and Russia over Ukraine is paying dividends for Iran. After all, Russia claims to also have hypersonic missiles, and Iran has been providing drones to Russia, so they seem to be scratching each other’s back fairly well,” he added.
The latest military announcement came as tensions between Iran and the United States over maritime security in the Persian Gulf are at a peak. Earlier this week, the U.S. Navy sent 3,000 military personnel to the Red Sea and several warships to protect shipping lanes, including those in the Strait of Hormuz from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
According to Brodsky, the U.S. “needs to take military spending and national security more seriously than it has.”
“We don’t have that technology yet; however, it would appear China also does not. Tehran has repeatedly denounced the U.S. military’s involvement in the regional waters, accusing America of “aggression.””
“What do the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, and the Indian Ocean have to do with America,” said the Islamic Republic’s Armed Forces Spokesperson Brigadier-General Abolfazl Shekarch to Tasnim news agency. “What is your business being here?”
Responding to the U.S. Navy’s troop deployment, the regime in Tehran said it equipped its naval forces with new drones and range missiles. The IRGC also enacted a military drill last week on several islands deploying swarms of fast boats, paratroopers, and missile units to demonstrate against American forces and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“Wars tend to be fought using newer technologies, and we are falling behind. For example, the U.S. Navy is retiring more ships than it is building–even as China and Russia conduct naval exercises off the Alaskan coast,” he added.
According to military experts, the Islamic Republic has an array of cruise missiles, drones, and projectiles capable of targeting American and Israeli military forces. A few weeks ago, Iran unveiled its first hypersonic ballistic missiles, which can move inside and outside the atmosphere, evading radars and breaching any defense system.
Despite threats from Tehran, Israel and the U.S. have begun strengthening their military forces against Iran and its terrorist proxies, engaging in defensive drills in the Persian Gulf on the ground, sea, and air.
National security experts, including Brodsky, note that if current military reports are accurate regarding America’s lack of an effective countermeasure to hypersonic missiles, then “it is a concern.”
The bottom line is that the threats America faces are real and growing, and our military spending–including the choice of where we are spending–is not keeping pace with the challenges ahead,” Brodsky told The Foreign Desk.
“This highlights how important it is to deny Iran nuclear weapons, the systems to deliver it, and conventional weapons that can alter the balance of power in the Middle East. It should also spark renewed interest here to create a combined U.S.-GCC security umbrella that focuses on missile defense. Of course, that would require that the Biden administration stops kicking our allies like Israel, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia in shins for no reason when the obvious Middle Eastern menace remains Iran,” Brodsky told The Foreign Desk.