Iran proclaims successful missile test

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Iran has successfully tested a Sajjil solid-propellant, surface-to-surface missile, according to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The president announced this at a campaign speech in Semnan. "... we launched a Sejil-2 missile, which is a two-stage missile and it has reached the intended target," Ahmadinejad said in the northern city which is close to the launch site.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Image: Daniella Zalcman.

Ahmadinejad told the crowd of supporters: "The defense minister contacted me and said, ... 'With divine intervention and the assistance of the Lord of the Age, the Sejil-2 rocket, which has very advanced technology, was launched from Semnan province.'"

"It hit the target exactly," he added.

United States Defense Secretary Robert Gates confirmed the launch and stated that the missile has a range of 2,000 to 2,500 kilometers (1,200 to 1,500 miles). Gates additionally said that "because of some of the problems they've had with their engines we think at least at this stage of the testing we think it's probably closer to the lower end of that range. Whether it hit the target that it was intended for, I have not seen any information on that."

"I'm not all that impressed," said's senior analyst Charles Vick. "It's just another test that confirms they've got the system that was operational last summer."