Iran successfully tests powerful anti-tank missile


TEHRAN, Iran, AP

Iran successfully tested a powerful anti-tank missile Tuesday and will soon start mass producing the weapon, the Defense Ministry said.

The Saeqeh-1 (lightening) missile has precise targeting ability and is “capable of destroying the most advanced armored equipment in the world,” the ministry announced in a statement carried by Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency.

The ministry did not give the weapon’s range.

State-run television Tuesday showed several tests of the missile hitting targets.

The report said the government-owned Aerospace Industries Organization will soon begin mass producing the missile to meet state military needs.

On May 31, Iran successfully tested its first solid-fuel surface-to-surface missile. The guided Fateh-110 missile was also developed at Aerospace Industries.

Last July, Iran test-fired its Shahab-3 missile with a range of 1,300 kilometers (800 miles), making it able to strike both Israel and U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia.

Tehran denies claims that it receives missile technology from Russia, mainland China and North Korea. The Shahab-3 is believed to be based on North Korea’s No Dong ballistic missile.

Iran is also working on the long range Shahab-4 rocket to carry satellites into space. It is not destined for military use, Iran says.

The Iranians launched an ambitious domestic arms development program during its 1980-88 war with Iraq to make up for weapons shortages caused by a U.S. embargo. Since 1992, it has unveiled its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and a fighter plane.