- Title: IRAN: Shahab 3 missile test-fired - News Conference
- Date: 29th September 2009
- Summary: TEHRAN, IRAN (SEPTEMBER 28, 2009) (REUTERS) IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN HASSAN QASHQAVI WEEKLY BRIEFING IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN HASSAN QASHQAVI, SAYING "The main purpose of the missile tests is of a defensive nature. We have made progress in missile technology, so we need to perform such tests, just like the other countries. There is no link between the missile manoeuvres and the our peaceful nuclear activities. This is a military drill which is deterrent in nature, and there is no connection whatsoever with the nuclear programme. The tests are nothing new." REPORTERS TAKING NOTES NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
- Reuters ID: LVA6ROIT67KCPWSLVMG1AVTYAT75
- Duration: 00:00:56
- Topics: Defence / Military
- Story Text: Iran test-fired a missile on Monday (September 28) which defence analysts have said could hit Israel and U.S. bases in the Gulf, state media reported, a move that may irk world powers ahead of rare talks with Tehran this week.
The Revolutionary Guards launched the Shahab 3 missile during war games coinciding with increased tension in Iran's nuclear row with the West, after last week's disclosure by the Islamic state it is building a second uranium enrichment plant.
Television footage showed a missile soaring into the sky in desert-like terrain, to shouts of Allahu Akbar (God is Greatest).
State broadcaster IRIB said "upgraded" versions of Shahab 3 and another missile, Sejil, had been tested. Officials have earlier said Sejil has a range of close to 2,000 km (1,250 miles). They were powered by solid fuel, IRIB said.
Press TV estimated the range of the Shahab 3, which was last tested in 2008, at between 1,300 km and 2,000 km, without making clear the range of the actual missile tested on Monday.
News of the nuclear fuel facility south of Tehran added a sense of urgency to a meeting in Geneva on Thursday between Iranian officials and representatives of six major powers, including the United States, China and Russia.
The United States and its Western allies have made clear they will focus on Iran's nuclear programme at the meeting. Iran has offered wide-ranging security talks but says it will not discuss its nuclear "rights".
Washington, which suspects Iran is seeking to build nuclear bombs, has previously expressed concern about Tehran's missile programme. Iran, a major oil producer, says its nuclear work is solely for peaceful power generation purposes.
Iran's English language Press TV said the Shahab 3, a surface-to-surface missile, was "successfully" test-fired on the second day of an exercise that got under way on Sunday, when short and medium-range missiles were launched.
Iran's Foreign Ministry said there was no link between the missile manoeuvres and the country's nuclear activities.
"The main purpose of the missile tests is of a defensive nature. We have made progress in missile technology, so we need to perform such tests, just like the other countries," spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told a news conference.
Iran conducts war games or tests weapons to show its resolve to counter any attack by foes like Israel or the United States.
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