Iran showcases new ballistic missile during military parade

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard unveiled the country's newest ballistic missile Friday during a military parade in Tehran, showcasing a rocket with the reported range to reach most of the Middle East -- including Israel.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed Tehran would continue with its missile program in defiance of U.S. demands to the contrary.

The unveiling occurred during a parade held to celebrate the 1980s Iraq-Iran war. Similar parades with Iranian army units and Revolutionary Guard forces were held in other Iranian cities.

The move was a direct challenge to President Trump, who in August signed a bill imposing mandatory penalties on those involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and anyone who does business them.

Iran has long bragged of having missiles in its arsenal, however, Friday was the first time Khoramshahr, the name of the newest missile, with a range of 1,250 miles was displayed in public.

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Not much is known about Khoramshahr, but the state-run IRNA news agency quoted the chief of the Guard’s airspace division, Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, saying the missile “can carry several warheads for various uses.”

"As it was observed, the missile has become smaller in size and more tactical and it will be operational in the near future," he told reporters on the sidelines of the parade.

Rouhani said at the parade that Tehran would not stop its missile program but instead boost military capabilities, despite U.S. demands.

Rouhani also said Tehran would keep supporting the "oppressed people of Yemen, Syria and Palestine" — a reference to Iran's role in the wars in Yemen and Syria and its support for Palestinian militant groups such as Hamas.

Iran is a close ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad and has backed Yemen’s Shiite rebels against U.S. supported and Saudi-led coalition that sought to return the internationally elected government to power in Yemen.

During Trump’s address to the United Nations Tuesday, Trump accused Iran of supporting terrorists and called Tehran a “corrupt dictatorship” and a “murderous regime.”

Speaking a day later, Rouhani said the Iranian people are waiting for an apology from Trump for his "extremely offensive" rhetoric and "unfounded" allegations about Iran.

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Rouhani afterward told reporters the Trump administration is seeking "an excuse" to pull out of the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement that capped Iran's nuclear activities in return for the lifting of international sanctions on Iran.

On Thursday, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all major policies in Iran, said Trump's "cheap, ugly, foolish and unreal" remarks before the U.N. General Assembly were a sign of desperation.

Later on Friday, Iranians staged anti-Trump protests to show their anger over the U.S. president's speech. Thousands of worshipers marched after Friday prayers in Tehran, chanting "Death to America" and "Death to Israel."

Similar protests occurred in other Iranian cities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.