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Israeli experts suspects Pak hand in Iranian missile test

Israeli security experts suspect Pakistani hand in the technological advances shown by Iran in its latest Sejil-2 missile test, which with a range of 2,000 Kms can hit Israel, southern Europe and American bases in the Middle East.

world Updated: May 21, 2009 14:43 IST

Israeli security experts suspect Pakistani hand in the technological advances shown by Iran in its latest Sejil-2 missile test, which with a range of 2,000 Kms can hit Israel, southern Europe and American bases in the Middle East.

Yiftah Shapir of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University was quoted by daily Ha'aretz as saying that Sejil 2 is closer to a Pakistani missile, unlike the Shehab 3 tested by Iran earlier which was based on Soviet and North Korean Scud technology.

"It is closer to a Pakistani missile, the Shaheen II, which is based on Chinese technology. This suggests that it might be the Pakistanis who transferred technology to Iran for the development of the Sejil ballistic missile," Shapir was quoted as saying by the daily.

The advantage of the new missile is not only its size, but its two-stage, solid-fuel propulsion system, experts said.

The Shehab missiles operate on liquid fuel, requiring longer preparation time for launch, and are therefore more vulnerable to attack, but solid-state rockets are quicker to launch and cut down on the warning time for the defenders.

Sejil-2 improves Iran's strategic capabilities and will shorten the response time for Israel's defences, they said.

However, the Israeli experts also said that the warhead capacity of the new missile is similar to that of Shehab, estimated at about 700 kilograms.

Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon downplayed the importance of the new missile, but suggested that its range "should worry the Europeans."

Ayalon also underlined that Iran is trying to develop a ballistic missile with a range of 10,000 kilometers that could reach the coast of the United States.