Iran Says It Tests Missile, Israel in Range

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TEHERAN, Iran - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced the successful test firing of a surface-to-air ballistic missile with a 1,250-mile range, which could target Israel, southern Europe and U.S. bases in the Persian Gulf.

Like the Ashura missile under production in Iran, the Sajjil-2 uses solid fuel.

"The Sajjil-2 missile, which has advanced technology, was launched today, and it landed exactly on target," Ahmadinejad told reporters in his hometown in the northern Semnan province, where the launch took place, according to IRNA, Iran's state news agency.

Ahmadinejad's announcement followed a report on Monday by the EastWest Institute, which predicted it would take Iran six to eight years to produce a long-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear payload.

The report, written by a team of six U.S. and six Russian scientists, said scientists couldn't determine how long it would take Iran to build an intercontinental ballistic missile, but without outside help, it was at least 10 to 15 years away.

Despite Iran's nuclear enrichment program, which has produced more than 2,200 pounds of low-grade uranium - enough to produce one bomb when enriched - the report said it wasn't "clear whether it has taken the decision to produce nuclear weapons."

The report further stated that the Islamic Republic has not provided "satisfactory answers" about possible "military dimensions" of its nuclear program.

In February, the team presented its findings to U.S. National Security Advisor General Jim Jones, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.N. Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev.

Last November, Iran test fired a Sajil missile, describing it as a "new generation" of surface-to-air ballistic missiles.

Sources: Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post

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