Iran unveils ‘Soleimani’ missile as US seeks sanctions return

Bloomberg | : Iran unveiled new missiles, including one named after a slain top general, hours before the U.S. heads for a major confrontation at the United Nations triggered by its attempts to extend an international ban on selling arms to the Islamic Republic.

In a ceremony Thursday broadcast live on state TV, Defense Minister Amir Hatami announced a ballistic missile with a range of 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) named after General Qassem Soleimani, and dedicated a cruise missile with a shorter range to Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Both men were killed in a U.S. drone strike near Baghdad in January. A new “light turbofan” engine for the country’s drone aircraft also featured.

Iran already has missiles capable of flying around 2,000 kilometers and reaching Israel, its leading regional foe.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. will formally propose the “snapback” of all nuclear-related global sanctions on Iran at the UN on Thursday, after it last week failed to extend indefinitely a 13-year-old arms embargo on Iran that’s close to expiring. The U.S. added that a snapback would extend the embargo by default.

But the Trump administration finds itself almost totally isolated on the issue, abandoned even by its closest European allies who argue that having left the 2015 nuclear deal, the U.S. no longer has the authority to reinstate UN sanctions.