Iran hypersonic missile claim sparks concern from UN nuclear watchdog

© Fars News Agency, AFP

An Iranian general claimed Thursday that the Islamic republic had developed a hypersonic missile capable of penetrating all defence systems, raising concerns from the UN nuclear watchdog.

Hypersonic missiles, which like traditional ballistic missiles can deliver nuclear weapons, can fly at more than five times the speed of sound.

"This hypersonic ballistic missile was developed to counter air defence shields," General Amirali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps aerospace unit, was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.

"It will be able to breach all the systems of anti-missile defence," he said, adding that he believed it would take decades before a system capable of intercepting it is developed.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi, speaking at a UN climate summit in Egypt, expressed concerns about the announcement.

"We see that all these announcements increase the attention, increase the concerns, increase the public attention to the Iranian nuclear programme," Grossi told AFP.

>> Has Iran ruined its nuclear deal chances with violent crackdown?

The announcement comes after Iran admitted on Saturday that it had sent drones to Russia, but said it had done so before the Ukraine war.


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