AP: Iran said Tuesday its missiles now have a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), a substantial extension of their previously declared range.
"Today we have the power to fire missiles to a range of 2,000 kilometers," former President Hashemi Rafsanjani said, according to a report by the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
Associated Press

TEHRAN - Iran said Tuesday its missiles now have a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), a substantial extension of their previously declared range.

"Today we have the power to fire missiles to a range of 2,000 kilometers," former President Hashemi Rafsanjani said, according to a report by the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

"Experts know that a country that possesses this can obtain all subsequent stages" in missile production, Rafsanjani told staff at the Aerospace Research Institute in Tehran. He did not elaborate, but appeared to be saying that Iran can make missiles of any range it requires.

"Today, we possess the basic technology to produce and launch satellites," Rafsanjani added. In January, Iran forecast it would put a satellite into orbit with a locally made rocket within 18 months. His remarks came days after Iran said it had added a "strategic missile" to its arsenal after a successful test.

In August, Iran test fired a new version of its Shahab-3 missile. The old version was known to have a range of 1,296 kilometers (about 810 miles) — making it capable of reaching Israel and various U.S. military bases in the Middle East.

In the same month, Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said Iran was working to improve the Shahab-3’s range and accuracy in response to efforts by Israel to upgrade its missile system.

Israel and the United States have developed the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system. The Arrow is one of the few systems capable of intercepting and destroying missiles at high altitudes. Its development followed the 1991 Gulf War, when Iraq fired 39 Scud missiles that struck Israel.

Arrow was developed by Israel Aircraft Industries and Boeing Co. at a cost of more than US$1 billion.

The Shahab, which means shooting star in Farsi, is Iran’s longest-range ballistic missile. The country launched an arms development program during its 1980-88 war with Iraq to compensate for a U.S. weapons embargo.

Rafsanjani said the Iranian missile program grew out of the 1980-88 war.

"We started thinking of producing missiles when we were attacked by missiles," he said. During the war, Iraq, then ruled by Saddam Hussein, fired missiles that landed in Tehran, but Iran was unable to retaliate.

Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and a fighter plane.

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