Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Iran 'Test Launches' Medium-range Missile

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the Sajjil-2 missile used "advanced technology" and had "landed exactly" on the unspecified target. He was speaking in Semnan, from where the missile, with a range of 2,000km (1,240 miles), was reportedly launched.
Correspondents say the test may be seen as provocative by Iran's Arab neighbours and its enemies in the West.
"The defence minister [Mohammed Najjar] told me today that we launched a Sajjil-2 missile, which is a two-stage missile and it has reached the intended target," Mr Ahmadinejad told a crowd in the northern town. Solid-fuel missiles are reputedly more accurate than liquid-fuel missiles, which make up the majority of Iran's long-range arsenal.

Iran tested a Sajjil missile in November last year, described by officials at the time as a highly accurate "defensive" weapon.
Iran says its missile development programme is solely for defensive and scientific purposes, but critics say the rockets could one day be used to nuclear weapons, although Iran denies its nuclear programme has any military dimension.
The announcement of the launch came shortly after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was confirmed as one of the four candidates cleared to stand in Iran 12 June presidential elections. He will run against two leading reformists - former Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi and ex-parliament speaker Mehdi Karoubi - and Mohsen Rezai, former chief of the Revolutionary Guards.

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