25 September 2004 -- The Iranian defense minister announced today that the country has successfully test-fired a strategic, long-range missile and delivered the weapon to its armed forces.
Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani told state-run radio the missile was test-fired during recent exercises by the elite Revolutionary Guards near the Iraqi border.
He said the exercises were aimed at reinforcing "Iran's resolve to defend itself against big powers."
The United States accuses Iran of secretly seeking nuclear weapons that could be carried by a ballistic missile. Iran denies the charge.
Iran's announcement came days after Israel said it is procuring thousands of "smart bombs" from the United States. The bombs are believed to be suited for attacking Iranian nuclear facilities.
In 1981, Israel bombed a nuclear reactor in Iraq just before the facility was to go into operation.