Teheran: Nasr 1 Missile will be capable of destroying targets up to 100 tons.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Iran's defense minister has announced the launch of a new production line of highlyaccurate, short range cruise missiles capable of evading radar.Gen. Ahmad Vahidi told state TV Sunday that the cruise missile, calledNasr 1, would be capable of destroying targets up to 3,000 tons in size.The minister said the missile can be launched from the surface butwould eventually be modified to be fired from helicopters andsubmarines.The world is already concerned about Iran's military capabilities,especially the implications of its nuclear program. The US and some ofits allies, as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency, say Iranis apparently trying to produce nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies.The West is considering stiffer sanctions against Iran to try to forceit to halt uranium enrichment, a process that has civilian uses but canbe also used for nuclear arms if the uranium is enriched over 90percent.Iran also has an array of missiles from short to medium range thatcould hit targets including Israel, US military bases in the region andmuch of Europe.Iran frequently makes announcements about new advances in military technology that cannot be independently verified.AdvertisementGen. Vahidi said the production of the cruise missiles, which took twoyears to develop, showed that sanctions on Iran have failed. He saidthe cruise missiles would strengthen Iran's naval power.Cruise missiles are highly advanced, usually subsonic rocket-poweredweapons that can hug the ground and hit targets with great precision.U.S. forces used large numbers of cruise missiles in its attack onBaghdad in 2002. Most were launched from warships in the Persian Gulf.The state TV showed a video of boxes in a warehouse containing severalmissiles. It also showed footage of Iran's cruise missile test in 2007.That missile was apparently imported.Iran began a military self-sufficiency program in 1992, under which itproduces a large range of weapons, including tanks, missiles, jetfighters, unmanned drone aircraft and torpedoes.Iran frequently makes announcements about new advances in military technology that cannot be independently verified.Meanwhile, it has been revealed that Iran has built a new missile launch padthat could accommodate the firing of the Islamic Republic’snext-generation satellite launch vehicle (SLV) called Simorgh, whichIsrael fears is being developed to serve as an intercontinentalballistic missile that could reach all of Europe.Satellite footage taken by Jane’s with the DigitalGlobe and GeoEyesatellites revealed that Iran has constructed a new launch site nearthe current Semnan space center. The imagery shows a new site fourkilometers from Semnan with a 13-meter wide gantry tower approximately20 meters tall. The site, Jane’s said, appeared to be midway towardcompletion.Yaakov Katz contributed to this report
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