TEHRAN, Iran — Iran claims it has successfully test-fired an upgraded version of a short-range ballistic missile.
Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi says the solid-fueled Fateh-110 has a range of 300 kilometers (185 miles). He claims it can pinpoint targets at sea, making it the most accurate weapon of its kind in Iran’s arsenal.
Iran has been pushing to upgrade its missiles, which already can target Israel and other parts of the region. Officials say that they are focusing on missiles that can strike naval targets.
The Fateh-110, or Conqueror, is a single-stage solid-propellant, surface-to-surface missile put into service in 2002. The earlier version of the domestically-produced missile had a range of 200 kilometers.
Vahidi’s comments were reported by state TV Saturday. The weapon was developed by Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization.
Vahidi is wanted by Interpol for his role in the terrorist bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 18, 1994, in which 85 people were killed.
Iran has been at loggerheads with the West over its nuclear program, which the Islamic Republic claims is being developed for peaceful purposes. Israeli leaders and political analysts say that an Israeli attack on the Iranian program could come in the very near future.
A former Israeli intelligence chief told Israel’s Channel 2 on Friday that Israeli military strike on Iran may be just weeks or at most a couple of months away. While stressing that he personally did not think the time was right for an Israeli attack, Aharon Zeevi Farkash, former head of Military Intelligence in the IDF, said, ”It seems to me, that [an Israeli attack] could come in the near future… that is, weeks or a couple of months.”
Farkash was speaking a day after former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy told Israel Radio that, “If I were an Iranian, I would be very fearful of the next 12 weeks,” intimating that an Israeli attack was imminent.