Iran parades 30 2,000-km range missiles

During parade marking anniversary of Iran-Iraq war, army displays missiles capable of hitting Israel, US bases. President Rohani says ready for talks with West, Israel 'trampled all international WMD treaties'

Iran paraded 30 missiles with a nominal range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) Sunday, the first time it had displayed so many with a stated capacity to hit Israeli targets.


Iran displayed 12 Sejil and 18 Ghadr missiles at the annual parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.


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The stated range of both missiles would put not only Israel but also US bases in the Gulf within reach.

Iran's President Hassan Rohani, speaking at the parade on the eve of a trip to New York to attend the UN General Assembly, declared his country is ready for talks with the West on its disputed nuclear problem.


Rohani, who was elected in June promising a new willingness to engage diplomatically with the world, has said the trip may be a chance to start a new round of nuclear negotiations.


Rohani and President Barack Obama are both scheduled to attend the General Assembly's annual meeting in the week ahead, setting up the possibility of the first exchange between American and Iranian leaders in more than three decades.


Revolutionary Guard troops during parade (Photo: EPA) (Photo: EPA)
Revolutionary Guard troops during parade (Photo: EPA)


"The Iranian nation is ready for negotiation and talks with the West," Rohani said.


The president has promised to abandon the bombastic approach favored by his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but continues to assert Tehran's position that it has the right to conduct nuclear activities that the West fears could be a step toward weapons development, especially the enrichment of uranium. Iran says its program is peaceful, intended for purposes including research and cancer treatment, and enrichment is necessary for purposes including the fueling of reactors.


Iran and the United States are also at odds over the civil war in Syria. Tehran backs President Bashar Assad, while Washington supports rebels trying to oust him.


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In his speech, Rohani said that Western governments must recognize Iran's right to enrich uranium in any deal to allay their concerns about its nuclear program.


Rohani said that should extend to "all rights of the Iranian nation, particularly nuclear rights and the right to enrich uranium on its territory within the framework of international rules."


Long-range missile displayed at parade
Long-range missile displayed at parade


"If they (Western governments) accept these rights, the Iranian people are a rational people, peaceful and friendly. We stand ready to cooperate and together we can settle all the region's problems and even global ones," the Iranian leader said.


"The Iranian people want development and are not looking to make an atomic weapon."


Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP


Rouhani did not mention Israel by name at the military event but the reference was clear.


"A regime is a threat for the region that has trampled all international treaties regarding weapons of mass destruction," he said, noting Israel's undeclared but widely presumed nuclear arsenal.


Rohani also insisted that the US foreswear a military strike against Iran's nuclear program, a possibility that Washington has left open. "No nation will accept war and diplomacy on (the same) table," he said.

He reiterated Iran's position that it does not intend to build nuclear weapons.


Iran claims the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes under the terms of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.


But the UN Security Council has imposed successive rounds of sanctions on Iran for failing to heed ultimatums to suspend the sensitive activity, which Western governments suspect conceals a covert drive for a weapons capability.


Rohani, a moderate on Iran's political scene, has made several diplomatic overtures since his election in June.


AFP, AP, Reuters contributed to the report



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פרסום ראשון: 09.22.13, 11:46
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