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Iran Denies Long-Range Missile Plan

September 11, 1999

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) _ Iran rejected Saturday a CIA report alleging it could be able to hit the United States with an intercontinental missile within 15 years.

The official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Iranian Defense Ministry spokesman Keyvan Khosravi as saying the CIA report about Iran trying to make intercontinental missiles was ``an absolute lie.″

The report was based on ``unfounded assumptions and conjecture and is not by any means substantiated by evidence,″ Khosravi told the agency in a report received in Dubai.

Khosravi said Iran was pursuing conventional defense activities in keeping with its right to meet its own needs.

A Central Intelligence Agency report released Thursday alleged that North Korea, Iran and Iraq were trying to produce intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The report said the prospects of Iran’s acquiring such missiles by 2015 were ``probable,″ while North Korea’s prospects were ``most likely″ and Iraq’s were ``possible.″

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