Iran is world’s sixth-biggest missile power, says ex-official

Iran is world’s sixth-biggest missile power, says ex-official

Former defense minister also claims Tehran leads Middle East in rocket production

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s former defense minister said his country is ranked sixth in the world in missile production.

The semi-official Fars news agency quoted Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi on Sunday as saying that Iran reached this level of manufacturing by “attaining domestic technology for building solid fuel missiles, as well as designing and manufacturing surface-to-surface long-range missiles.”

Vahidi also claimed that Iran is first in the Middle East in missiles production. He gave no specific figures.

Iran occasionally announces military achievements that cannot be independently verified.

Some of Iran’s surface-to-surface missiles are estimated to be capable of hitting Israel and US bases in the region. Both countries have not ruled out a military option against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Tehran denies it seeks to make atomic weapons.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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