Iran General NewsUnknown aircraft fires missile in Iran - TV

Unknown aircraft fires missile in Iran – TV

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Reuters: An unknown aircraft has fired a missile in a deserted area near the southern city of Dailam in the province of Bushehr where Iran has a nuclear power plant, Iranian state television reports. Reuters

DUBAI – An unknown aircraft has fired a missile in a deserted area near the southern city of Dailam in the province of Bushehr where Iran has a nuclear power plant, Iranian state television reports.

“A powerful explosion was heard this morning on the outskirts of Dailam in the Bushehr province. Witnesses said the missile was fired from an unknown plane 20 km (12 miles) from the city,” Iran’s Arabic language Al-Alam said on Wednesday.

There was no immediate reaction from Iranian officials over the blast, Al-Alam said. The report was not carried in Persian media in Iran.

Iran’s Russian-built 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactor, its only nuclear power plant, is due to start operating in Bushehr province in late 2005. Dailam is about 100 miles (160 km) from the nuclear power plant.

U.S. stock futures fell sharply following the news.

“This explosion basically sent chills down the spines of futures traders,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Alaron Trading Corp in Chicago.

Crude oil prices also jumped on the Iran television report.

Tehran on Wednesday accused the United States of using satellites “and other tools” to spy on its nuclear sites, and U.S.-ally Israel said the Islamic republic was just six months away from having the knowledge to build an atomic bomb.

The Israeli warning followed U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s call last week for Iran to abandon any pursuit of nuclear weapons and meet its international obligations if it was to be sure of avoiding conflict.

While Europe has pursued a policy of engagement with Iran, the United States and Israel have taken a more aggressive stance. Washington has said it favours diplomacy but does not rule out any option in stopping Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and Israel has hinted at possible military action.

Senior Israeli security sources denied any Israeli military involvement.

An Israeli air strike on the Iraqi reactor Osiraq in 1981 dealt a severe blow to Saddam Hussein’s nuclear programme.

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