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Terrorism & Security

Iran tests short-range missiles amid nuclear dispute

Sunday's missile tests come after the US, Britain, and France revealed Iran's secret nuclear facility, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is urging US lawmakers to act now.

By / September 27, 2009

Iran launched a short-range Tondar missile in a drill on Sunday near the city of Qom, 80 miles south of Tehran.

Ali Shaigan/Fars News Agency/AP

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Iran tested two types of missiles and a missile-launching system Sunday, according to the country's state-run Press TV news service.

The tests come ahead of this week's landmark talks between Iran, Germany, and the five members of the United Nations Security Council (US, Britain, France, China, and Russia) and just two days after President Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy accused Iran of building a secret uranium enrichment facility.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has denied that his nation is using its nuclear program to develop weapons and predicted that Messrs. Obama, Brown, and Sarkozy, would "regret" their very public revelation of Iran's secret facility at the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, has seized upon the announcement to urge US leaders to act now against Iran.

In a series of phone conversations with a number of US senators and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Mr. Netanyahu is said to have called for "crippling sanctions" on Iran, reports the Israeli daily Haaretz.

Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said that this revelation has also caused much alarm among Arab and Muslim nations who are now worried "first and foremost" about Iran's nuclear program, reports Haaretz. Mr. Lieberman says that for many Arab nations concerns about Iran even transcend Israeli-Palestinian issues.

"This removes the dispute whether Iran is developing military nuclear power or not and therefore the world powers need to draw conclusions," Lieberman told Israel Radio. "Without a doubt it is a reactor for military purposes not peaceful purposes," Lieberman added.
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