Iran defies world, test-fires two long-range missiles

Last Updated: Monday, September 28, 2009 - 23:34

Tehran: Iran on Monday test-fired its two long-range missiles which it says could hit targets in arch-foe Israel, as the Revolutionary Guards staged war games for the second straight day.

The exercises coincide with heightened tension with the West after the UN nuclear watchdog revealed on Friday that Tehran was building a second uranium enrichment plant. Western countries suspect Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, which Tehran denies.

The Guards launched the missile manoeuvres yesterday marking "Sacred Defence" week, which commemorates the start of the eight-year Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

Guards` air force commander Hossein Salami said the force test-fired today the Sejil and Shahab-3 versions of the long-range missiles.

"An improved version of Shahab-3 and the two-stage Sejil, powered by solid fuel, were fired," Salami was quoted as saying by state-owned Arabic language Al-Alam television channel.

Iran`s Fars news agency said Sejil was test-fired for the first time during missile manoeuvres.

Iran`s state-owned English language Press TV channel broadcast footage of Shahab-3 lifting off in a thick ball of fire from desert terrain.

Iran says both missiles have a range of around 2,000 kilometres, which would put Israel, most Arab states and parts of Europe, including much of Turkey, within their range.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi denied there was "any link" between the missile tests and the current nuclear controversy.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, September 28, 2009 - 23:34

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