Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Iran Lacks Ability to Build ICBMs, Russia Says
Iran lacks the required technology to develop ICBMs, Russia asserted on Tuesday, amid reports that the Persian Gulf state had conducted trial launches of medium- or long-range missiles, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported (see GSN, Dec. 5, 2011).
Tehran's equipment is "not even (sufficient) for prototypes," Interfax quoted Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Vadim Koval as saying.
Any potential Iranian long- or medium-range missiles would not be ready for deployment in the near future, the spokesman asserted.
Iran carried out several trial missile launches on Monday that went off as planned. Some domestic news organizations reported the missiles had medium- or long-range capacities. The Qader missile, which was one of three variants to be launched, has only a typical flight capacity of about 124 miles. Additionally, the trials were reported to involve the surface-to-surface Noor missile and the short-range Nassr missile.
The missile trials fall against a backdrop of increasing strain between Tehran and the international community following new warnings by the Iranian military that it could shut down foreign ships' ability to sail through the Strait of Hormuz -- a critical conduit for oil transportation from the Persian Gulf.
Russia has voiced skepticism that U.S. and NATO efforts to build a European missile shield are aimed at defending the continent against an Iranian ballistic missile strike. It has said the antimissile system could be intended to counter the Russian strategic nuclear forces, a claim rejected by Brussels and Washington (Deutsche Presse-Agentur/Monsters and Critics, Jan. 3).
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