Iran unveils what it calls a hypersonic missile capable of beating air defenses amid tensions with the United States

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran claimed on Tuesday that it has created a hypersonic missile capable of traveling at 15 times the speed of sound.

The announcement comes as tensions remain high with the United States over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Iranian state television reported that the missile – called Fattah, or “Conqueror” in Farsi – had a range of up to 1,400 kilometers (870 miles).

The report also claimed that the missile could penetrate any regional missile defense system, although it provided no evidence to support this claim.

The television broadcast what appeared to be a model of the missile unveiled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, a radical paramilitary organization in the Islamic Republic, in front of President Ebrahim Raisi. The Guard already has a vast arsenal of ballistic missiles.

In November, General Amir Ali Hajizadeh of the Revolutionary Guards claimed that Iran had created a hypersonic missile, without providing supporting evidence.

The claim came amid nationwide protests following the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after her arrest by the country’s vice squad.

Hypersonic weapons, which fly at speeds in excess of Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, could pose crucial challenges to missile defense systems due to their speed and maneuverability.

China is believed to be pursuing weapons, as is America. Russia claims to already have the weapons and said it used them on the battlefield in Ukraine.

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