Missile tests underscore the threat Iran poses in Mideast

Reporting from Cairo – Iran’s reported test-firing Monday of medium-range missiles that could reach Israel, Europe and American bases in the Persian Gulf was a reminder of the potent military threat Tehran poses to nations seeking to derail its nuclear program.

The launches demonstrated that Tehran was capable of striking its enemies, especially Israel, which has suggested it might attack Iran’s nuclear installations, and the United States, which is urging tougher United Nations sanctions against the Islamic Republic while preparing to create a shield to protect its allies from Iranian missiles.

The missiles fired Monday, the Shahab-3 and Sejil-2, were launched in the desert as part of military exercises that began before the U.S., France and Britain last week accused Tehran of building a secret uranium-enrichment plant. The U.S. and other nations suspect Tehran’s nuclear program is designed to create weapons rather than energy for civilian purposes and have threatened new sanctions on Iran if international inspectors are denied access to the facility.


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