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Iran fires missile that can evade radar-TV

Written by: Staff
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TEHRAN, Mar 31 (Reuters) Iran's Revolutionary Guards today successfully test fired a home-made missile which can evade radar, state television reported.

''Iran successfully test fired a home-made Fajr-3 missile,'' Hossein Salami, a senior Revolutionary Guards commander, was quoted as saying on state television.

The missile was tested as part of a week of naval wargames that started on Friday and were due to take place in the Gulf and Sea of Oman.

Previous models of the Fajr range of missiles have been described as a land-based weapons system for use against ships.

''This missile, with the capacity of evading radar, can attack several targets simultaneously,'' he said, adding the missile was newly developed.

State media described the missile as one of a ''new generation''.

Iran has previously said it had successfully tested missiles carrying the Fajr (Dawn) name.

The range of the new missile was not immediately clear but Salami said it had greater tactical and technical capabilities, state television reported. It also said the missile could not be hit by anti-missile rockets.

Iranian officials were not immediately available for comment.

Earlier, naval officials had said the wargames would start by firing a Shahab-2 surface-to-surface missile, which experts say has a range of about 700 km.

Naval Admiral Morteza Saffari earlier said the wargames would involve more than 17,000 troops and 500 large and small naval vessels, the official IRNA news agency earlier reported.

The naval wargames were aimed ''to display the Islamic system's defensive capabilities'', IRNA said.

Diplomats in Europe said this month that Iran, which is currently involved in a nuclear standoff with the West, was stepping up development of missiles capable of carrying atomic warheads.

The diplomats, citing an intelligence report, said the programme included plans to arm Iran's Shahab-3 missiles, which experts believe has a maximum range of around 2,000 km with nuclear warheads.

Iran says its nuclear plans are purely for peaceful purposes. The United States and other Western nations accuse Iran of trying to develop atomic bombs.

REUTERS SY RAI1818

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