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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Iranian minister denies his country tested a ballistic missile

Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan
Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan
Reuters

Did Iran test fire another ballistic missile? Depends who you ask.

On Monday, the Tasnim news agency quoted Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi as saying his country had successfully tested a precision-guided missile two weeks ago with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles).

But, later in the day, Iran's Defense Minister denied such a test had taken place, according to the Reuters news agency, though he reiterated that Tehran had not stopped bolstering what it insists is a purely defensive arsenal.

"We haven't test-fired a missile with the range media reported," Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan was quoted as saying.

Abdollahi had earlier touted the "high-precision" missile as 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 2000 kilometers and a margin of error of eight meters," he said, adding, "We can guide this ballistic missile."

Abdollahi also claimed that the army had allocated 10% of its entire budget to bolstering the Islamic Republic's defensive capabilities.

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 against the regime in Tehran.

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

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has expressed support for the tests, and has stressed that missiles, and not negotiations, will be a part of his country’s future relations with the outside world.