Iran conducts missile exercises

Iran test-fired a missile in May that was believed to be able to reach parts of Europe.
Iran tested a missile-launching system and two types of missiles Sunday, the state-run Press TV said without offering details.

Earlier, the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had said it would stage missile exercises beginning Sunday to promote the armed forces’ defense capabilities. The tests, which are expected to go on for the next 10 to 11 days, are codenamed “Payghambar-e Azam 4” or “The Great Messenger 4,” Press TV said. The station said the missiles fired Sunday were of the Tondar and Fateh type, but did not specify their range. In May, Iran said it tested a surface-to-surface missile that is capable of reaching parts of Europe. At the time, a White House official said the test was noteworthy.

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“Of course, this is just a test, and obviously there is much work to be done before it can be built and deployed. But I see it as a significant step forward in terms of Iran’s capacity to deliver weapons,” said Gary Samore, special assistant to the president on nonproliferation. The latest test follows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disclosure Friday that Iran was building a second uranium enrichment facility. The United States and Israel believe that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear energy program. Iran has denied the allegation.