Iran on Sunday launched a new locally-made submarine capable of firing cruise missiles, state TV said, in the country’s latest show of military might at a time of heightened tensions with the US. The launch ceremony, led by President Hassan Rouhani, took place in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas. “Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran is fully self-reliant on land, air and sea,” Rouhani said. “Our defensive power is meant to defend our interests and we have never sought to attack any country,” he added. Named the Fateh (Farsi for ‘Conqueror’), Fars news agency said the new submarine is Iran’s first in the semi-heavy category, filling a gap between the light Ghadir class and the heavy Kilo class submarines that the country possesses. Fars said the near 600-tonne underwater vessel is equipped with torpedoes and naval mines in addition to cruise missiles, and can operate more than 200 metres below sea level for up to 35 days.Published in Daily Times, February 18th 2019.