Iran on Monday test-fired long-range missiles it says could hit targets inside arch-foe Israel, as the defiant Revolutionary Guards staged war games amid tension with the West over Tehran’s atomic drive.
The UN nuclear watchdog revealed on Friday that Tehran was building a second uranium enrichment plant, ratcheting up tensions with the West which suspects the Islamic republic wants to acquire atomic weapons, a charge it denies.
On Sunday, the Guards launched the missile manoeuvres for “Sacred Defence” week, marking the start of the eight-year Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.
Guards’ air force commander Hossein Salami said the force test-fired on Monday the Sejil and Shahab-3 versions of the long-range weapons.
“An improved version of Shahab-3 and the two-stage Sejil, powered by solid fuel, were fired,” Salami was quoted as saying by state-owned Arabic language Al-Alam television channel. The Fars news agency said it was the first time the Sejil had been test-fired during a military exercise.
Press TV, a state-owned channel, broadcast footage of a Shahab-3 blasting off in a ball of fire from a desert launch site. Iran says both long-range weapons can travel for 2,000 kilometres, which would put Israel, most Arab states and parts of Europe, including much of Turkey, within range.