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Iran: Missiles Can Now Reach 1,250 Miles
Oct 5, 2004, 12:53
Iran has increased the range of its missiles to 1,250 miles, a senior official was quoted as saying Tuesday.
The range would puts parts of Europe within reach for the first time. Military experts had earlier put Iran's missile range at 810 miles, which would allow it to strike anywhere in Israel.
"Now we have the power to launch a missile with a 2,000 km (1,250 mile) range," the news agency IRNA quoted influential former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as saying. "Iran is determined to improve its military capabilities."
"If the Americans attack Iran, the world will change ... they will not dare to make such a mistake," Rafsanjani was quoted as saying in a speech at an exhibition on Space and Stable National Security.
Washington has accused Tehran of secretly developing nuclear weapons.
Iran insists its nuclear program is aimed only at generating electricity. It says its missiles are for defensive purposes and would be used to counter a possible Israeli or U.S. strike against its nuclear facilities.
In recent months, Iranian officials have frequently trumpeted their ability to strike back at any aggressor, and in August they announced they had successfully tested an upgraded version of the medium-range Shahab-3 missile.
Military experts say the unmodified Shahab-3 had a range of 810 miles. Shahab means meteor in Persian.
While Iran has had Israel in its missile sights for some time, Israeli officials said the longer 1,250 mile range was more significant for Europe than for Israel.
"We are well prepared to defend the state of Israel ... The Iranians will have to think twice before using these kinds of weapons," a senior Israeli government said.