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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Vows to Boost Missile Arsenal

VOA News
04 January 2011

Iran's parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, says his country plans to further boost its missile program.

He said Tuesday that Iran does not hide its weapons intentions to defend itself against "possible aggressions" from Israel and the West. His comments confirm Western analysts' views that Iran has developed short- and mid-range missiles capable of striking Israel and possibly parts of Europe.

Larijani's comments come as Iran's Defense Ministry says it has armed its navy with new coastal cruise missile systems.

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said at a ceremony Monday that the new missile systems will help safeguard the country's naval borders.

He said the systems include missile launch pads, target detection and radar to guide the missiles. The range of the new missiles was not mentioned, although Iran has been testing missiles with increasingly longer reaches.

World powers are locked in an eight-year dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program. Some Western officials suspect Iran's development of more sophisticated missiles may be part of efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.

Iran says its nuclear aims are peaceful.

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