A report in Press TV on Saturday did not give details of the missile’s range, nor the size of its warhead. The report said that it can be fired from both land and ship-based launchers.
Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan, Iranian Defense chief, says the missile opens “a new chapter” in the country’s missile technology. He praised the missile’s ability for fast targeting, and claimed it has an advanced radar system to counter defensive jamming measures by target ships.
Reportedly, Dehqan said, “Equipping the Iranian naval forces with this missile marks an effective step toward increasing the country’s defensive capability and deterrence power.”
The US Navy’s Fifth Fleet is headquartered in the Persian Gulf, where it has been threatened on numerous occasions by Iran.
Dehqan claimed, “This missile and the other ones in the armed forces’ arsenal only serve the purpose of the country’s defense. It will only hit aggressors and be used to protect the region’s peace, stability and security.”
Cruise missiles like the Nasir are not covered by UN Resolution 2231, which was passed shortly after the nuclear deal with Iran was signed. That resolution calls on Tehran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”
The ballistic missile program is also not covered by the resolution, according to Iran, because it does not have a nuclear weapons program.
In January, new US sanctions on a number of entities involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program were put in place, and US President Trump warned the Islamic Republic that it had been “put on notice” and that “nothing is off the table”, after Iran test-fired a ballistic missile and cruise missile, both of which are nuclear capable.
A week after a US vessel was forced to change course after being harassed by Iranian fast boats in the Strait of Hormuz, Iran claimed another ballistic missile test in March. The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow waterway through which a fifth of the world’s oil supply passes between the Persian Gulf to the Indian Sea.
US Navy ships in the Persian Gulf and around the Strait of Hormuz have previously been harassed by Iran, most notably the case of Iran’s capture of 10 US Navy sailors in January 2016, when they drifted into Iranian waters after experiencing mechanical problems.