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Iran Says It Tested Missile

May 31, 2001

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) _ Iran successfully tested its first solid-fueled surface-to-surface missile, state-run Tehran radio reported Thursday.

The guided Fateh-110 missile was developed at the government-owned Aerospace Industries, the radio said.

``Fateh-110, a super-modern surface-to-surface missile, functions with combined solid-fuel, is able to cause great damage and finds targets with accuracy. The missile is classified among Iran’s most efficient missiles,″ the radio report said.

The broadcast did not give the missile’s range, say when the test took place or provide further details. Defense Ministry officials were not available Thursday for comment.

Iran has built and tested several missiles, including the Shahab-3, which has a range of 810 miles and, unlike the Fateh-110, uses a mixture of liquid and solid fuel.

Washington has said the Shahab-3 enables Iran to hit Israel and U.S. troops stationed in the Gulf.

U.S. State Department officials have said that Iran is a major recipient of missile technology from Russia, North Korea and China.

Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani has said his country has a domestic missile industry and needs no foreign technology.

Washington criticized Russia’s decision last December to ignore its 1995 pledge not to sell tanks and conventional weapons to Iran.

Russia has said it is not violating any nonproliferation agreements, arguing the weapons serve only defensive needs and cannot be used to develop weapons of mass destruction.

Iran had virtually no arms industry before the 1979 Islamic revolution, when Iran, under the U.S.-backed shah, bought virtually all of its weapons from Washington.

Iran began an ambitious arms development program during the Iraq-Iraq war from 1980 to 1988 to compensate for weapons shortages caused by a post-revolution U.S. embargo.

Since 1992, Iran has unveiled its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and a fighter plane.

Update hourly