[FPSPACE] Iran announces new long-range missile
zirconic1 at earthlink.net
Tue Oct 5 08:36:27 EDT 2004
Iran Says It Has Missile with 1,250-Mile Range
Tue Oct 5, 2004 06:41 AM ET
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran can launch a missile as far as 2,000 km (1,250 miles), a senior official was quoted as saying Tuesday, substantially increasing the announced range of the Islamic state's military capabilities.
Such a missile would be capable of hitting Israel or parts of southeastern Europe. Iran says its missiles are for purely defensive purposes and would be used to counter a possible Israeli strike against its nuclear facilities.
"Now we have the power to launch a missile with a 2,000 km range," IRNA quoted influential former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as saying. "Iran is determined to improve its military capabilities."
Iran fiercely denies U.S. and Israeli accusations that it is building nuclear weapons.
But Iranian officials have trumpeted their ability to strike back at any aggressor many times in recent months and in August announced they had successfully tested an upgraded version of Iran's medium-range Shahab-3 missile.
Military experts say the unmodified Shahab-3 had a range of 810 miles which would allow it to strike anywhere in Israel. Shahab means meteor in Persian.
Rafsanjani was speaking at a exhibition on "Space and Stable National Security."
Iran has also recently announced plans to launch its own satellite into space next year. Military experts say a satellite launch rocket could easily be adapted for military purposes.
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