US Concerned about Russian, Chinese Help to Iran's Missile Program
The United States has expressed concern to Russia and China about their help to Iran's missile program, Defense Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon said Tuesday.
"We're very concerned about help they've been getting on a variety of programs, some from Russia, some, we believe, from China as well," he said, reacting to Iran's successful test of its Shahab-3 surface-to-surface missile Saturday.
"And we've voiced our concern both to the governments of Russia and China about this, and we will continue to voice our concern about efforts that aid the proliferation of missiles," Bacon told a press briefing.
The spokesman said the successful test of the Shahab-3 missile, with a range of 1300 or 1450 kilometers (800 or 900 miles), "puts Iran in a position to strike concentrations of our troops in the Middle East, and also to strike other countries in the Middle East."
"It depends, of course, where the missile is launched from ... It could also put Iran in a position to strike parts of Russia, depending on where the missile would be based," Bacon added.
"We have tried to argue with the Russians, and many other countries, that this type of proliferation is dangerous not just to us, but possibly to other countries as well, and we will continue to make that point."
The spokesman stressed that Washington was also worried about "about longer-range missiles" apparently being developed by Iran, citing the Shahab-4 and Shahab-5 missiles.
"The Shahab-5 missile could have an intercontinental range," he noted. "There isn't any conceivable reason why Iran needs a missile of intercontinental range if it's worried about regional security issues. It already has, in the Shahab-3, a missile that should allow it to deter or intimidate, if that's its goal, its neighbors." - WASHINGTON (AFP)
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