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US condemns Iran missile test

world Updated: Jul 09, 2008 15:23 IST
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The White House on Wednesday, denounced Iran's test of a missile that puts Israel within reach and warned the Islamic republic to abandon its ballistic missile programme "immediately."

"Iran's development of ballistic missiles is a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions and completely inconsistent with Iran's obligations to the world," said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

"The Iranians should stop the development of ballistic missiles, which could be used as a delivery vehicle for a potential nuclear weapon, immediately," he warned on the margins of the Group of Eight (G8) summit in Japan.

His comments came after Iran test-fired its Shahab-3 missile amid growing fears that the standoff over the Islamic republic's contested nuclear drive -- which the West says aims to develop atomic weapons -- could lead to war.

The Shahab-3 was among a broadside of nine missiles fired off in the early morning from an undisclosed location in the Iranian desert, state-run Arabic channel Al-Alm and its English counterpart Press-TV reported.

"The Iranian regime only furthers the isolation of the Iranian people from the international community when it engages in this sort of activity," said Johndroe.

The test came as world powers grapple with Iran's response to a package of economic and diplomatic incentives for

freezing its uranium enrichment programme. Tehran says its efforts have a purely civilian purpose.

US President George W Bush "and our partners in the United Nations Security Council, as well as Germany, are committed to a diplomatic path, and have offered Iran a generous package of incentives if they will suspend their uranium enrichment activities," Johnroe said.

"They should also refrain from further missile tests if they truly seek to gain the trust of the world," he said in a statement.