Russia says Iran has no long-range missiles
Iran has no long-range missiles, a Russian defence official said Tuesday in Moscow’s first response to a series of tests conducted by Tehran near the vital Strait of Hormuz oil supply route.
“Iran does not have the technology to create intermediate or long-range inter-continental ballistic missiles,” defence ministry spokesman Vadim Koval told the Interfax news agency.
“And it will not get such missiles any time soon,” he added.
Iran reported testing three missiles close to the Gulf oil-transit waterway on Monday amid preparations by Western powers to impose more economic sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear drive.
Two of the missiles can fly a maximum 200 kilometres (120 miles), generally considered short-range weapons, although the Iranian media and a navy spokesman described one of them as “long-range”.
The other, a Nasr anti-ship missile, had a shorter range of 35 kilometres.
Russia has relatively close ties with Iran and built its first nuclear power station in the southern city of Bushehr. Moscow has also delivered the nuclear fuel for the reactor.
Moscow has echoed Western concerns about the nature of the Iranian nuclear programme but has stopped short of publicly accusing Tehran of seeking atomic weapons and always said that the standoff should be solved by diplomacy.