November 12, 2008

U.S. Concerned About Iran Missile Tests

The United States is concerned about reported missile tests by Iran, saying they violate U.N. resolutions, the State Department said Wednesday.

Besides violating U.N. Security Council resolutions, the reported test-firings "certainly are not in accordance with (Iran's) international obligations," State Department spokesman Robert Wood said during a news briefing.

"It's very much a concern of ours," Wood said. "And so we will talk with our allies, see that we can bring broad international pressure on the Iranians to stop conducting these types of tests."

Iran's state-sanctioned media reported the Iranian military Wednesday test-fired surface-to-air missiles designed for defensive purposes. The test-firing involved the next-generation missile called the Sejil and used solid-fuel propellants, the government's English-language Press TV said on its Web site. Reports on Press TV and state television provided no details about the missile's range.

News of the Sejil test-firing came a day after Iranian media said the Revolutionary Guard had test-fired another new missile, called a Samen, Monday near the Iraqi border, The New York Times reported.

Wood said the test highlights the need for a European missile defense shield, a position Russia opposes.

"This is a growing threat that we need to be able to deal with," Wood said. "And we need Russia's cooperation. And missile defense is a critical component of what we're trying to do, in terms of building regional stability."