Iran General NewsIran rejects Sarkozy's claim on missile threats

Iran rejects Sarkozy’s claim on missile threats

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Reuters: Iran on Sunday rejected French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s comments on the necessity to build a strong deterrent against new security threats posed by nuclear-armed Islamic states, a news agency reported. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran on Sunday rejected French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s comments on the necessity to build a strong deterrent against new security threats posed by nuclear-armed Islamic states, a news agency reported.

Speaking on Friday at the launch of the fourth of France’s latest generation of nuclear-armed submarines, Sarkozy said Iran was “increasing the range of its missiles while serious suspicions weigh on its nuclear program”.

But Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini insisted Iran was a source of peace and stability in the Middle East.

“Iran has upgraded its capabilities (and) drawing a parallel between these achievements and possible threats against other countries is inappropriate and invalid,” the students’ news agency ISNA quoted Hosseini as saying.

Iran, locked in a standoff with the West over its nuclear plans, had previously boasted it had missiles that could sink “big warships” in the Gulf, a region where U.S. aircraft carriers and warships operate.

Iran’s Shahab-3 missile, with a range of 2,000 km (1,250 miles), is capable of hitting Israel and U.S. bases in the Gulf, Iranian officials say. Iran has refused to recognize Israel since the 1979 Islamic revolution toppled the U.S.-backed Shah.

Tehran said in November it had built a new missile with a range of 2,000 km, a step analysts said could add more power to its conventional arsenal when tensions over its atomic plans are rising.

The West accuses Iran of trying to acquire nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian program. Iran denies the charges, saying it only wants to generate electricity to meet the country’s booming demand.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed three sanctions resolutions against Iran following Tehran’s failure to suspend its nuclear activities, as demanded by the council.

Hosseini said Iran posed no threat to any country.

“Iran’s foreign policy is in line with international regulations and laws,” he said.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi, Editing by Giles Elgood)

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