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Iran test fires air-to-air missile

Iran test-fires newly-designed air-to-air infrared-guided missile. Press TV photo

TEHRAN (BNS): To resist any military threat from Israel, Iran has successfully test fired a newly-designed air-to-air infrared-guided missile.

The Press TV, quoting a spokesperson for the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, Ali Khodabakhshi, said the missile test which took place on Monday was successful. However, it did not disclose where the test was carried out.

Addressing the media, Chief Air Force commander Brigadier General Hassan Shah-Safi said the missile pursued and successfully took out a dummy target released from a second fighter jet. "The missile has a range of 40 km and the Defence Ministry will mass produce the missile," he said.

Brig. Gen. Shah-Safi went on to add that the air force was also developing a project to manufacture a new version of the air-to-air missile which would have a range of over 100 km.

Press TV said that the new within-visual-range missile marks a new Iranian achievement in domestically upgrading its aerial short-range missiles. However, the announcement comes at a time when Israel has stepped up its military threats against Iran and its nuclear programme.

Tel Aviv has repeatedly accused Tehran, a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), of having “plans to build a nuclear weapon”. Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was quoted as saying in the media that Tel Aviv was free to take any action it deems “necessary” against Iran.

In the Negev Desert, the Israeli Air Force had recently displayed its air power that could be sent to strike the Iranian nuclear infrastructure.

Till the 1979 Islamic Revolution, when the US-backed regime was toppled, the US had supplied arms to Iran. The supply headed to a stalemate after the Iraqi invasion of Iran in 1984 and the White House asked its allies to follow suit and prohibit weapons sales to the Iranian government.

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