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Iran opens new missile production facility


Nasr-1 Missile.

TEHRAN (AFP): Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi on Sunday opened a new production facility that will make short-range missiles which can destroy targets at sea, state television's website reported.

Vahidi said the Nasr 1 (Victory) missile is capable of "destroying targets weighing three thousand tonnes."

"It is a short-range missile which can be fired from the seashore and also from different vessels (ships) and in future it will have the ability to be fired from helicopters and submarines," Vahidi said in Tehran where the facility is located.

Vahidi last month opened two other missile production plants, one making ground-to-air missiles dubbed Qaem (Rising) and the other turning out surface-to-surface missiles dubbed Toofan 5 (Storm).

Iran's missile and space programmes have sparked mounting alarm in the West amid fears that a command of advanced ballistics technologies combined with the nuclear know-how acquired from its declared civilian programme may enable it to produce an atomic weapon.

Iran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons but has regularly boasted of having missiles that can target arch-foe Israel.

In December it tested the Sejil 2 (Lethal Stone) missile, describing it as a faster version of a medium-range missile that could allow it to strike Israel.

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