TEHRAN, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Defense Ministry announced on Sunday it will unveil a new cruise missile, dismissing U.S. deployment of air defense shield in the region.
Deputy Defense Minister and head of the ministry's Aerospace Organization General Mehdi Farahi said Sunday that his ministry plans to unveil a highly advanced cruise missile, the semi- official Fars news agency reported.
"God willing, Meshkat (Lantern) cruise missile with a range of 2,000 km will be unveiled in the near future," Farahi told Fars.
"Meshkat Cruise Missile can be fired from land, air and sea," Farahi was quoted as saying.
According to the report, Iran's former cruise missile can travel a distance of no more than 300 km.
The senior Iranian defense official downplayed the U.S. plan to deploy air missile shield in the region, saying that these defense systems lack the capability to confront Iranian missiles, according to the report.
"They (Americans) make claims that are mostly void, exaggerated and unreal," Farahi was quoted as saying.
Farahi said that part of these claims about U.S. air defense capabilities is true, but "they can never stand against the barrage of incoming Iranian missiles through this partial capability," according to Fars.
"We hope nothing happens, but in case of a conflict they will see that all their claims have been futile," he added.
In April, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held talks in Saudi Arabia about plans for a Persian Gulf missile shield system against alleged Iran's threats.
Addressing a first Gulf-U.S. security forum in Saudi capital Riyadh, Clinton said Washington was committed to the security of the six-country Gulf Cooperation Council as its allies in the region.
The littoral states of the Persian Gulf have welcomed the plan as they have said they are concerned about the military advancements and influence of the Islamic republic.
Iranian commanders have warned that Iran would give firm response to any military attack against the country.
On Sunday, Press TV, quoting an Iranian lawmaker, said that the upcoming military drill by the United States and its allies in the Persian Gulf will be "political games" ahead of the U.S. presidential election to win public opinion.
The United States and about 25 other countries will hold the largest-scale mine-sweeping exercise on Sept. 16-27 in the Persian Gulf, in a show of unity and defensive step to prevent Iran from attempting to block oil exports through the Strait of Hormuz.
"The war games in the Persian Gulf would have no impact on Iran, " the member of Iran's Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Baqer Hosseini said, adding that the Islamic republic "is in full command of the Persian Gulf region."
Iran's capabilities have proven that the United States and its allies would not only fail to achieve their objectives but would sustain heavy costs, he maintained.
An influential U.S. political analyst said in Turkey's Istanbul on Sunday that Israel would take full advantage of U.S. general election to gain momentum of war against Iran.
John Louis Esposito, a professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, said in an interview with Xinhua that the U.S. pre-election period is very critical for Iran-Israel relations.
He said If Israel does not launch an attack on Iran during this time, at least it will take full advantage of the general election to gain support from the United States and prepare for the war.
The verbal battle between Israel and Iran has become more and more provocative recently.
The United States and the EU have imposed several rounds of sanctions to pressure Iran to give up its uranium enrichment activities.
The West suspects that the nuclear activities of Iran may have military dimensions but Tehran insists that its nuclear program is aimed at "civilian" purposes.