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Iran does not yet have the capability to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile
Iran does not yet have the capability to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile, Russia's top army general said Thursday. Tehran reported earlier on Thursday it has successfully launched several dozen long-range ballistic missiles during its ongoing large-scale military exercises. "According to our information, Iran does not currently have the technological and technical capability to build an intercontinental [ballistic] missile," Army General Yury Baluyevsky, chief of the General Staff of Russia's Armed Forces, told journalists. He said Iran's activity, if any, to develop ICBMs will be closely watched by the world's intelligence agencies. Moreover, such activity is restricted by international regulations on the development of cutting-edge missile technology, as well as by Tehran's non-proliferation commitments. "Taking into account the above-mentioned factors, the international community has enough leverage to control the global situation related to the development of missiles or nuclear weapons," he said, highlighting the International Atomic Energy Agency's role as one of the powerful mechanisms of control. Iran is believed to possess one of the largest ballistic missile forces in the developing world, and is reportedly running an ambitious missile development program. Many countries likewise suspect it of developing nuclear weapons through its uranium enrichment program. Tehran is conducting large-scale military exercises November 2-12 in southern Iran involving ground units, the Air Force, Navy and Basij (militia) forces. An Iranian television station said the first day of the exercises was notable for the successful launch of Shahab-2, Shahab-3 long-range ballistic missiles, as well as of Scud-B, Fateh-110 and other missiles. It added that Iranian specialists had designed all of the missiles. Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, said Wednesday that the main aim of the maneuvers was to demonstrate the might of the Iranian people and their determination to defend the country from all threats. The Shahab-2 is an advanced version of Russia's Scud-C missile, with a range of up to 700 kilometers (about 430 miles), and is capable of carrying a 700-kilogram (1,500 pound) warhead. The Shahab-3 is a modernized version of North Korea's No-Dong ballistic missile, and reportedly has a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (about 950 miles). It can carry a 1,000- kilogram (2,200 pound) payload.
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