The Islamic Republic of Iran is continuing to build up its military capabilities with the unveiling of a new liquid-fueled Khorramshahr ballistic missile on Thursday. Amid the current tensions between Iran and the West over its nuclear program, the development of such a powerful weapon could have potentially dire consequences.
The Khorramshahr-4 missile was unveiled at a ceremony in Tehran, mounted on a truck-mounted launcher and first revealed to journalists. This new missile, named after a city in southwestern Iran, is the fourth version of its kind, but little is known about why it has been given this designation.
What we do know is that the Khorramshahr-4 missile is modeled after the Musudan ballistic missile, an intermediate-range, liquid-fueled mobile missile developed by North Korea. This type of missile is capable of achieving higher speeds with greater accuracy than the previous two versions, and has a range of up to 1,250 miles, thus making it potentially dangerous to much of the Middle East, Europe, and northwestern Africa.
The use of a liquid-fueled engine also gives the Iranian military greater flexibility in terms of launching the missile. This means it isn’t dependent on solid fuel, which needs to be stored in special containers and is more susceptible to atmospheric conditions.
In light of the tensions between the two countries, the unveiling of this missile serves to heighten the risk of military confrontation between Iran and the West. This is especially concerning as Iran continues to enrich uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels, which makes the development of a ballistic missile even more worrying.
Given the current geopolitical climate, it is vitally important that both sides take steps to de-escalate the situation and come to some kind of resolution. Ultimately, it is in the best interests of the international community to ensure that peace and stability prevail, as the potential consequences of conflict are immense.