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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Iran Tests Missiles, International Tensions Rise

By Jessica Desvarieux
27 September 2009

The Iranian government has tested two short-range missiles and announced plans for a long-range missile test. The actions follow Iran's disclosure of plans to build a second uranium enrichment plant, despite mounting tensions between Iran and the West over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps fired two short-range missiles on Sunday. And Tehran is expected to test a long-range missile on Monday.

State television showed the tests, part of military exercises dubbed the "Great Prophet 4" -- taking place on barren desert terrain.

Iranian Air Force Brigadier General Hossein Salami spoke to reporters about the tests.

He said the war games will be conducted in three phases.

The military exercises are happening at a time of increased tension between Iran and Western nations over Tehran's nuclear program.

Last week, Iran disclosed it is building a second uranium enrichment plant. Analysts say the admission apparently was prompted by Tehran's learning that Western intelligence agencies were aware of its existence.

Tehran insists that its nuclear program is only for energy production, a claim questioned by Western powers.

Western leaders are demanding that Iran give the International Atomic Energy Agency access to its nuclear facilities.

A senior U.S. official says the Obama administration plans to tell Tehran this week that it must allow access to the newly-revealed nuclear facility, turn over documents regarding its operations and provide access to key personnel in Iran's nuclear program.

At the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh last week, U.S. President Barack Obama said Iran must "come clean" about its nuclear program. He said that world powers are united to limit Tehran's atomic ambitions and that "it's up to the Iranians to respond."

On Saturday, Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, told the country's state television that inspectors would be allowed to visit the site. Tehran says it never tried to hide the facility.

Iran is scheduled to meet with representatives of major world powers on Thursday to discuss its nuclear plans.

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