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article imageIran Test Fires Their Long Range Missile

By Michael Bearak     Dec 16, 2009 in World
Iran announced Wednesday that it has successfully test fired their first long range missile. Iran continues to deny nuclear development.
Iranian Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi spoke on television, describing the Sajjil-2 as a high-speed, surface-to-surface missile that would serve as a "strong deterrent" against any possible foreign attack.
Fox News is reporting that the "Sajjil-2" is a two-phase missile using solid fuel. This missile has a range of 1,200 miles. That puts Iran's sworn enemy, Israel, within reach. It also puts parts of southeastern Europe in range as well.
While Israel declined to comment, Iran's Defense Minister boasted that this new missile is very fast which will make it, "impossible to destroy" using ground to air defense systems citing that it eludes defense radar.
Iran is currently under strict UN sanctions over its build-up of enriched uranium. While low levels of enriched uranium can be used for electricity, greater enriched uranium is often used for nuclear weapons. There was an agreement earlier this fall for Iran to send its uranium off for enrichment to guarantee that it wasn't being enriched to the point of being nuclear ready. Iran cut that program off last month, stating again that their uranium is only for the generation of electricity and not for nuclear armament.
The name "Sajjil" translates to "Baked Clay" and refers to a story in the Koran where invaders attacked the holy city of Mecca. Birds sent by God attacking the invading soldiers and drove them back by dropping bricks of baked clay upon them.
Fox News is also reporting that Israeli military intelligence is identified that Iran is close to having the technology to assemble a nuclear weapon. Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin said Iran has enriched enough uranium this year at its facility in Natanz to build a bomb and is on the brink of a "technological breakthrough" that would enable it to build atomic weapons.
Because of this build-up the U.S. House has announced that by a vote of 412-12 would impose sanctions against Iran. Lawmakers approved legislation that would penalize foreign companies that sell oil to Iran or help the country with its oil-producing capacity. While the House passed the measure, the Senate will more than likely note get to vote on it this year, so for right now it is seen as a warning to Iran.
Hitting Iran in one of its weakest areas could be "the last best hope for diplomatically ending Iran's nuclear weapons program," said Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill.
Asian intelligence has also reported the build up of materials to build triggers for nuclear weapons as well as additional stockpiling of highly enriched uranium.
The technical document describes the use of a neutron source, uranium deuteride, which independent experts confirm has no possible civilian or military use other than in a nuclear weapon. Uranium deuteride is the material used in Pakistan’s bomb, from where Iran obtained its blueprint.
"Although Iran might claim that this work is for civil purposes, there is no civil application," said David Albright, a physicist and president of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, which has analysed hundreds of pages of documents related to the Iranian programme. "This is a very strong indicator of weapons work."
More about Iran, Long range missile, United States, Sanctions, Israel
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