US defense official: Iran's missile test shows nothing new
US Missile tests underm
By JPOST.COM STAFF, AP
The new medium-range missile tested by Iran is "not particularly different than what we've seen in the past," said Pentagon defense spokesman Geoff Morrell on Wednesday, according to a Reuters report.
The report quoted Morrell as saying that US intelligence shows the missile - said to be capable of targeting parts of Israel - is not a sign of advanced military capabilities acquired by Teheran.
The White House condemned Iran's test of the upgraded missile earlier on Wednesday, saying that the experiment undermines Teheran's insistence of peaceful intentions, and will be looked upon seriously by the world.
"At a time when the international community has offered Iran opportunities to begin to build trust and confidence, Iran's missile tests only undermine Iran's claims of peaceful intentions," White House spokesman Mike Hammer said.
"Such actions will increase the seriousness and resolve of the international community to hold Iran accountable for its continued defiance of its international obligations on its nuclear program," he said.
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown also condemned the launch, saying, "This is a matter of serious concern to the international community and it does make the case for us moving further on sanctions. We will treat this with the seriousness it deserves." Brown made the statement in Copenhagen following talks with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
In Israel, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor declined to comment on the latest missile test.
Iran has intensified its missile development program in recent years, a source of serious concern in Israel, the United States and its Western allies at a time when they accuse Teheran of seeking to build a nuclear weapon. Iran, which is under several sets of UN sanctions over its nuclear program, denies the charges and says its nuclear program is aimed solely at generating electricity.
Israel has not ruled out a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. Iran, in turn, has threatened that such an attack would be retaliated against with strikes on Israel's own nuclear sites.
Earlier Wednesday, Iran announced it had successfully test-fired an improved version of its Sajjil-2 medium-range missile which it says can reach targets inside Israel.
The Sajjil is a solid fuel, high-speed missile with a range of about 1,930 kilometers, placing Israel well within range and reaching as far away as southeastern Europe with greater precision than earlier models.
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