Iran tests 2nd radar-avoiding missile

Iranian FM: We are ready to negotiate on large-scale uranium enrichment.

iran missile 298 ap (photo credit: AP)
iran missile 298 ap
(photo credit: AP)
Iran said Tuesday it has tested a second new radar-avoiding missile, the latest weapon to be unveiled during war games in the Gulf that the military says are aimed at preparing the country's defenses against the United States. The new surface-to-sea missile is equipped with remote-control and searching systems, the state-run television reported Tuesday. On Friday, the country tested the Fajr-3, a missile that it said can avoid radars and hit several targets simultaneously using multiple warheads. Since the war games began Friday, the country also has tested what it calls two new torpedoes. The Revolutionary Guards, the elite branch of Iran's military, have been holding their maneuvers - codenamed the "Great Prophet" - since Friday, touting what they call domestically built technological advances in their armed forces. Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told a press conference Tuesday that Teheran was prepared to negotiate on the large-scale enrichment of uranium but will never abandon its right to enrich uranium. The UN Security Council has demanded that Iran suspend all enrichment of uranium and last week it asked the UN nuclear agency to report back in 30 days on whether Iran had complied with the demand. Mottaki maintained Iran's line that it would not comply with the Security Council demand, saying the research-scale enrichment that Iran began in February was in exercise of its right and will continue. Iran has been conducting small-scale enrichment for what it says is research purposes, but it would require large-scale enrichment to fuel a nuclear reactor. The United States and France have accused Iran of seeking enrichment as a part of a secret program to build nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charge, saying its nuclear ambitions are confined to the generation of electricity. "The enrichment of uranium ... is Iran's right as defined as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," Mottaki said. "One thing we can't give up and that is the right of the Iranian nation ... We can't hold a dialogue with any country about giving up our rights," Mottaki insisted. He added that Iran was prepared to talk to the international commmunity about large-scale enrichment. "For industrial-scale production of nuclear fuel, which is the next stage (of enrichment), we are ready for negotiations," Mottaki said. Iran's first nuclear reactor, built with Russian assistance at Bushehr in southwestern Iran, is due to come on stream later this year.