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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pentagon says Iranian missile test "undermines" trust

RIA Novosti

05:34 17/12/2009 WASHINGTON, December 17 (RIA Novosti) - The Pentagon has expressed its concern over Wednesday's missile test-launch by Iran, saying that it undermined the country's claims of peaceful intentions.

Iran announced on Wednesday it had successfully tested an upgraded version of its long range solid-fuel Sejil-2 missile. The missile has a longer range than the Shahab missile and is capable of hitting targets 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) away, meaning Israel and even parts of southeastern Europe within reach.

"At a time when the international community has offered Iran opportunities to begin to build trust and confidence, Iran's missile test only undermined Iran's claims of peaceful intentions," Geoff Morrell told Pentagon reporters on Wednesday.

"This is just the latest in a series of provocative actions by Iran, all seemingly oblivious to the scrutiny of the international community, or perhaps more likely, in spite of it," he said.

"Such actions will increase the seriousness and resolve of the international community to hold Iran accountable for its continued defiance of its international obligations," the official went on.

The White House expressed its concern over the launch earlier in the day.

Iran frequently holds military drills and shows off modern weaponry in an effort to demonstrate its readiness to thwart any attack against its nuclear facilities.

The West suspects Iran of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program, but the Islamic Republic says it needs nuclear power solely for civilian purposes.

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