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Last Updated: Monday, 7 July, 2003, 08:51 GMT 09:51 UK
'Final test' for Iranian missile
Shahab-3 missile test, shown on Iranian TV
Iran says its missiles are meant as a deterrent
Iran has conducted a final test of a missile capable of reaching Israel, the country's foreign ministry has confirmed.

The Shahab-3 ballistic missile, first tested in 1998, has a range of 1,300 kilometres (800 miles).

"The test took place several weeks ago," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.

The test was the final one before the missile is handed over for operation by the country's army, the spokesman added.

He gave no further information on the test.

The Shahab-3 could also reach eastern Turkey, and Pakistan.

The head of the United Nations nuclear agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, is due to visit Tehran this week to seek clarification of Iran's nuclear programme.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is calling on Iran to sign up to tougher inspections of its nuclear power facilities.

Washington accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons, but Iran says it is only interested in atomic energy for production of electricity.

It says its missiles are for deterrence only.




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