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Report: Iran test-fires improved Sejil 2 missile
Islamic republic's Arabic-language satellite television says tested missile has longer range than Shahab, which Iranian officials have said can reach targets 2,000 kilometers away, putting Israel and US bases in Gulf within reach

Iran has successfully test-fired a long-range, improved Sejil 2 missile, state television reported on Wednesday, an announcement likely to add to tension with the West.

 

Al-Alam, Iran's Arabic-language satellite television, said the Sejil missile had a longer range than the Shahab missile, which Iranian officials in the past have said can reach targets 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) away.

 

That would put Israel and US bases in the Gulf within reach.

 

The missile test coincides with increased tension over Iran's nuclear program, which the West fears is aimed at making bombs. Iran denies the charge.

 

Neither Israel nor the United States have ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the dispute. Iran has vowed to retaliate for any attack.

 

Press TV, Iran's English-language television station, said about Wednesday's test: "The missile hit its target."

 

Al-Alam said it was a two-stage, solid fuel missile.

 

The test came a day after the US House of Representatives approved legislation to impose sanctions on foreign companies that help to supply gasoline to Iran, a measure lawmakers hope would deter Tehran from pursuing its nuclear work.

 

Iran has repeatedly shrugged off the impact of such punitive measures, that include three rounds of limited UN sanctions since 2006.

 

In September, Iran test-fired missiles which a commander said could reach any regional target. The White House branded those tests "provocative" and reiterated demands that Iran come clean on its nuclear program.

 

Washington suspects Iran is trying to develop nuclear bomb capability and has previously expressed concern about Tehran's missile program. Iran, a major oil producer, says its nuclear work is solely for generating peaceful electricity.

 

The United States and five other major countries said on Tuesday that a planned meeting with Iran about its nuclear program will not take place this year because of scheduling conflicts, although talks will continue by telephone.

 

In October, negotiators offered a deal under which Iran would send most of its low-enriched uranium abroad by the end of the year for further enrichment. However, Tehran has backed away from it, raising the prospect of additional sanctions.

 


פרסום ראשון: 12.16.09, 09:55
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