US intelligence believes Iran has obtained advanced missiles from North Korea capable of striking Europe, according to US documents leaked by WikiLeaks and cited by the New York Times on Sunday.
The newspaper, in a diplomatic cable dated February 24, said "secret American intelligence assessments have concluded that Iran has obtained a cache of advanced missiles, based on a Russian design."
Iran obtained 19 of the North Korean missiles, an improved version of Russia's R-27, from North Korea, the cable said, and was "taking pains to master the technology in an attempt to build a new generation of missiles."
At the request of US President Barack Obama's administration, the New York Times said it had agreed not to publish the text of that cable.
"The North Korean version of the advanced missile, known as the BM-25, could carry a nuclear warhead," said the newspaper, adding it had a range of up to 2,000 miles (more than 3,000 kilometres).
"If fired from Iran, that range, in theory, would let its warheads reach targets as far away as Western Europe, including Berlin. If fired northwestward, the warheads could reach Moscow," it said, referring to other dispatches.
"The cables say that Iran not only obtained the BM-25, but also saw the advanced technology as a way to learn how to design and build a new class of more powerful engines," said the Times.