Iran to upgrade missile production unit

December 16th, 2008 - 2:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, Dec 16 (Xinhua) A senior Iranian military officer has said the government is set to upgrade its missile production division in an effort to boost the Islamic country’s defence capabilities. Brigadier General Mehdi Farahi, head of the aerospace organization (AO) in the defence ministry, was quoted as saying that “the reforms are intended to promote efficiency and help fulfil the requirements of the country’s armed forces,” Press TV channel reported.

The AO has been responsible for developing Iran’s surface-to-surface Sejjil missile, the longer-range Shahab-3 ballistic missile which has a range of up to 2,000 km, and Zelzal and Fateh missiles.

Earlier this month, London-based Jane’s Magazine reported on its website that Tehran tripled its arsenal of Shahab-3 intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) in 2008.

An intelligence source was quoted by Jane’s as saying that at the beginning of 2008, Iran had about 30 operational missiles, but the figure has risen to more than 100 now.

The United States and its allies have accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear programme.

Iran has repeatedly denied the US allegations and insisted that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only.

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