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Middle East
Iran 'test-fires upgraded missile'
State media reports weapon has longer range than previous versions.
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2009 19:09 GMT

Tehran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes, and vowed to retaliate for any attack [EPA]

 

Iran has successfully test-fired its longest-range missile, according to reports on the country's state television.

Al Alam, Iran's Arabic-language satellite television channel, reported the missile launch on Wednesday, saying it had a longer range than previous missiles.

Iran has said in the past that its Shahab missiles can reach targets 2,000km away, but if the Sejil-2 missile can reach further it would put Israel and US bases in the Gulf within reach.

The missile test comes amid increased tensions with the West over Iran's nuclear programme.

The announcement comes hours after the US approved legislation to impose sanctions on foreign companies that help supply fuel to Iran.

Neither Israel nor the United States have ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the row.

Tehran says its nuclear programme is only for peaceful purposes and has vowed to
retaliate for any attack.

Sanctions

Iran has repeatedly disregarded the impact of such punitive measures, which 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 called them "provocative", and reiterated demands that Iran come clean on its nuclear programme.

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 refused to comply with the deal, saying it would prefer to purchase the required fuel from other countries and keep its low-enriched uranium.

Source:
Agencies
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