Sunday, March 08, 2009

Iran test-fires new missile

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran has test-fired a new air-to-surface missile, Iranian media reported on Sunday, in the Islamic Republic's latest display of its military capability.

The missile test was carried out despite the offer by the administration of new U.S. President Barack Obama to engage Iran in direct talks if it "unclenches its fist".

Iran's Fars News Agency said the domestically produced missile had a range of 110 km and was designed for use by military aircraft against naval targets.

"Now these jet fighters have acquired a new capability in confronting threats," the semi-official news agency said. Iran's Press TV initially said a long-range missile had been tested, but later also used Fars' way of describing it.

Iran often stages war games or tests weapons to show its determination to counter any attack by foes such as Israel and the United States.

Israel and Washington accuse Tehran of trying to develop nuclear bombs. Iran says its nuclear programme is a peaceful drive to generate electricity so that the world's fourth-largest oil producer can export more of its gas and crude.

Israel, believed to be the only nuclear-armed Middle East state, has said Iran's nuclear plans threaten its existence and has not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to end the dispute.

Iran has said it would respond to any attack by targeting U.S. interests and Israel, as well as closing the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway between the Gulf and the Sea of Oman through which about 40 percent of the world's traded oil is shipped.

The rest of this report can be found at this lnk: missile

Here is another report:

Iran test fires new missile

Iran test fired a new long-range missile, Xinhua reported according to Iran's English-language television station Press TV reported on Sunday.

"Iran test fires new long range missile," Press TV said in a scrolling headline without giving details.

The Press TV report came less than a week after a top Iranian military commander said that Iranian missiles could now reach Israeli nuclear sites, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, the Fars news agency reported that Iran said on Sunday it "successfully" tested a new air-to-sea missile with a range of 110 kilometres (68 miles). It did not say when the test was conducted.

"Iranian defence specialists are able to successfully install missiles with a range of 110 kilometres on fighter planes and launch them," the report said, adding that the high-precision weapon weighs about 500 kilos, according to the Fars news.

Here is the link to the original story: Iran

Here is the Jerusalem Post story:

Iranian news agencies were divided over the range and purpose of a missile fired by the Islamic republic on Sunday.

According to Reuters, while state-run television reported that a long-range missile was fired, the Fars News Agency said an anti-ship air-to-surface missile, with a range of 110 km. had in fact been tested. The latter report cited a missile having far less range than the Shihab-3 missile which Iran says can reach as far as Israel.

The Fars account claimed that "experts have managed to install missiles with a range of 110 km. on Iranian jets and successfully fire [them]." "Now these jet fighters have acquired a new capability in confronting threats," the report said.

Last Wednesday, a senior Teheran official announced that Iranian missiles can reach Israeli nuclear sites.

"All the nuclear facilities in different parts of the land under the occupation of the Zionist regime are in the reach of Iran's missile defenses," Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander-in-chief of the Islamic republic's Revolutionary Guards, was quoted by the ISNA news agency as saying.

Here is the link to the report: Test

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