Iran Test-Fires New Surface-to-Surface Missile

An Iranian flag flutters next to a ground-to-ground Sajil missile before being launched at an undisclosed location in Iran. (AFP)
An Iranian flag flutters next to a ground-to-ground Sajil missile before being launched at an undisclosed location in Iran. (AFP)

TEHRAN, Iran, (AP) – Iran successfully test-fired a new generation of long range surface-to-surface missile using solid fuel, making them more accurate than its predecessors, the defense minister announced Wednesday.

Mostafa Mohammed Najjar said on state television that the Sajjil was a high-speed missile manufactured at the Iranian Aerospace department of the Defense Ministry. He said it had a range of about 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers).

Solid fuel missiles are more accurate than the liquid fuel missiles of a similar range currently possessed by Iran.

The official IRNA news agency said the test was conducted Wednesday and television showed the missile being fired Wednesday from a launching pad in a desert region.

“This missile is a two-stage weapon with two combined solid-fuel engines and has an extraordinary high capability,” the television quote Najjar as saying. He didn’t elaborate.

Najjar said the missile was a defensive weapon and not a response to threats against Iran. He didn’t name any country but Israel has recently threatened to take military action against Iran to stop Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb.

“This missile test was conducted within the framework of a defensive, deterrent strategy … and specifically with defensive objectives,” Najjar added.

Iran is known to possess a medium-range ballistic missile known as the Shahab-3, which means “shooting star” in Farsi, with a range of at least 800 miles (1,300 kilometers). In 2005, Iranian officials said they had improved the range of the Shahab-3 to 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers).

Iran’s Shahab-3 missile has been known to use liquid fuel. Missiles using liquid fuel are less accurate.

Iran launched an arms development program during its 1980-88 war with Iraq to compensate for a U.S. weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and a fighter plane.

Iranian ground-to-ground Sajil missile launches at an undisclosed location in Iran. (AFP)
Iranian ground-to-ground Sajil missile launches at an undisclosed location in Iran. (AFP)
Iranian ground-to-ground Sajil missile is launched at an undisclosed location in Iran. (AFP)
Iranian ground-to-ground Sajil missile is launched at an undisclosed location in Iran. (AFP)

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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