Iran defense minister seems to deny missile test, perhaps

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Iran’s defense minister said the Islamic republic is continuing to bolster its ballistic missile capabilities – but denies it test-fire a missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers two weeks ago, as a top general had told Iranian media.

On May 9, the Tasnim news agency quoted Brig. Gen. Ali Abdollahi as saying Teheran successfully tested a precision-guided missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles).

Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan. /AP
Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan. /AP

“We haven’t test-fired a missile with the range media reported,” Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said, according to Reuters.

Dehghan did not specify whether Iran had not tested any missile, or just not the missile with the 2,000 kilometer range.

Abdollahi had boasted that the “high-precision” missile was capable of carrying out pinpoint strikes within a radius of eight meters from the target.

“Two weeks ago, we test-fired a missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers and a margin of error of eight meters,” he said, adding, “we can guide this ballistic missile.”

Reports say that Iran continues to conduct live tests of its ballistic missiles – some of which are capable of reaching as far as Europe – in defiance of international sanctions.

After the last such test in March, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted world powers for their inaction, warning it would only embolden the Iranian regime further.

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has expressed support for the tests and has stressed that missiles, and not negotiations, will be a part of Teheran’s future relations with the outside world.