Iran Begins Large-scale Production of New Cruise Missile

Iran's growing arsenal raises concerns its missiles could hit targets in the region such as Israel and U.S. military bases in the Gulf.

Iran says it's started large-scale production of a domestically-developed cruise missile designed for sea-based targets and capable of destroying warships.

Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said an unspecified number of samples of "Ghader," or "Capable" as the missile is called in Farsi, were delivered to the Revolutionary Guard's navy, assigned to protect Iran's sea borders. His remarks were reported by state TV on Wednesday.

Iran - Reuters - august 2011

The cruise missile has a range of 124 miles (200 kilometers). It can reportedly travel at low altitudes and has a lighter weight and smaller dimensions.

Iran's growing arsenal is raising concerns, including its short and medium range ballistic missiles capable of hitting targets in the region such as Israel and U.S. military bases in the Gulf.

On Tuesday, the French envoy to the UN warned Iran on that it risks a military strike if it continues to develop its nuclear program. Ambassador Gerard Araud said in New York that "If we don't succeed today to reach a negotiation with the Iranians, there is a strong risk of military action," AFP reported.

The strike, he said, "would be a very complicated operation. It would have disastrous consequences in the region all the Arab countries are extremely worried about what is happening."