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Thumbs down Iran Says it Test-Fired New Long-Range Missile. - May 20th 2009, 02:10 PM

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday that Iran had test-fired an upgraded surface-to-surface missile with a range of about 1,200 miles, according to the IRNA news agency. The reported range of the Sejil-2 missile would put it within striking distance of Israel and of American bases in the Persian Gulf, though the Iranian leader did not allude to any specific target beyond Iran's borders in the news agency account. "The Sejil-2 missile, which has an advanced technology, was launched today," IRNA quoted Mr. Ahmadinejad as saying. "It landed exactly on target." He was speaking during a visit to Semnan Province in northern Iran, where IRNA said the launch took place. He did not say what the target was. The announcement was likely to reinforce Israeli concerns, voiced strongly by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, about Iran's regional intentions as a military and political power. The reported launch also followed efforts by the Obama administration to seek a new relationship with Tehran to forestall a nuclear program which western countries say is designed to build a nuclear bomb. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. President Obama hardened his tone Monday, saying that that he expected to know by the end of the year whether Iran was making "a good-faith effort to resolve differences" in talks aimed at ending its nuclear program, signaling to Israel as well as Iran that his willingness to engage in diplomacy over the issue has its limits. "We're not going to have talks forever," Mr. Obama told Mr. Netanyahu after a two-hour session in the Oval Office. The president added that he did not intend to foreclose "a range of steps" if Iran did not cooperate. Last November, Iran said it fired test-fired a missile called the Sejil, a forerunner to the Sejil-2, also with a range of 1,200 miles - almost as far as another Iranian missile called Shahab 3. At the time, Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said the missile "can be produced and stored in mass and is easy to prepare launching and immediately remove the launcher from the scene." "This missile gives our military force a new capability," he said last November. "It was produced as part of our deterrent policy. It will be for peace and security in the region and we will only use it against enemies who invade Islamic Republic." Mr. Ahmadinejad's announcement came as Iran prepared for presidential elections in June. According to the Interior Ministry, the electoral authorities on Wednesday confirmed the eligibility of four candidates - Mr. Ahmadinejad; Mir Hussein Moussavi, a moderate politician and former prime minister; Mehdi Karroubi, another moderate politician and former speaker of Parliament; and Mohsen Rezai, a former head of the Revolutionary Guards. Those nominations had always seemed the most likely survivors from a huge field of would-be candidates. Earlier this month, the Interior Ministry said a total of 475 people had registered as candidates, including 40 women, and that the registrants ranged in age from 19 to 86. But it was assumed by most political experts that an oversight panel of conservative mullahs and jurists would disqualify most of them.
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Re: Iran Says it Test-Fired New Long-Range Missile. - May 22nd 2009, 05:16 AM

Isreal lol's, aims nukes at Iran

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