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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Moscow concerned over Iran missile program - envoy

RIA Novosti

16:19 29/09/2009 MOSCOW, September 29 (RIA Novosti) - Iran's missile program cannot but cause Russia to be concerned against the backdrop of the Islamic Republic's unresolved nuclear issues, Russia's envoy to NATO said on Tuesday.

"We want to know everything or almost everything about the future of these programs and they cannot but cause concern," Dmitry Rogozin said.

Iran's national media said Monday the country has test launched the longest-range missile in its arsenal, a Sajjil surface-to-surface missile with a range of up to 2,000-2,500 kilometers, capable of striking Israel and parts of Europe.

The Islamic Republic started on Sunday large-scale missile drills amid growing tension with the West over Tehran's controversial nuclear program, and has already conducted night test-launches of the Shahab class short- and medium range ballistic missiles with multiple warheads.

The third stage of the Great Prophet IV exercises involved the launch of Shahab-1, Shahab-2 and Shahab-3 missiles with ranges of 350 km (217 miles) and 750 km (466 miles), and 2,100 km (1,300 miles), respectively.

During the first stage, Iran successfully tested short-range ground-to-ground Fateh-110, Tondar-69, and Zelzal-type missiles.

Tehran revealed last week that it was building a second uranium enrichment plant.

Rogozin said Russia needs to look at using its political influence on the Iranian leadership as tougher measures could provoke an arms race in the region.

Iran is under three sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment that could be used both for electricity generation and weapons production. Iran insists its nuclear program is aimed at generating peaceful civilian energy.

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