US officials confirm Iranian missile launch

The missile test-fired by Iran is similar in design and range to missiles it has launched in previous years, but it is too early to tell if it demonstrated any new capabilities, US defense and intelligence officials said Wednesday. Defense Secretary Robert Gates provided the first official US confirmation of the Iranian launch, briefly telling a House committee about the test nearly eight hours after it was announced by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "The information that I have read indicates that it was a successful flight test," Gates told the House Appropriations Committee. "The missile will have a range of approximately 2,000 to 2,500 kilometers" (1,250-1,550 miles). Gates added that "because of some of the problems they've had with their engines we think at least at this stage of the testing we think it's probably closer to the lower end of that range. Whether it hit the target that it was intended for, I have not seen any information on that."