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Iran Says It Launches Surface-To-Surface Missile

A November test of the Iranian surface-to-surface Sejil 2 missile

A November test of the Iranian surface-to-surface Sejil 2 missile

TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Iran has successfully launched an advanced surface-to-surface missile with a range of around 2,000 kilometers, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying.

"The Sejil 2 missile, which has an advanced technology, was launched today...and it landed exactly on the target," Ahmadinejad said during a visit to the northern Semnan Province, where IRNA said the launch took place.

A range of 2,000 kilometers would be almost as far as another Iranian missile, Shahab 3, and would enable it to reach Israel and U.S. bases in the Gulf.

The announcement is likely to arouse further concern in the West about Iran's military ambitions. The United States and its allies suspect the Islamic republic is seeking to build nuclear bombs. Tehran denies the charge.

Iran said in November it test fired a Sejil missile, describing it as a new generation of surface-to-surface missile. Tehran said it was ready to defend itself against any attacker.

Washington said at the time that the test highlighted the need for a missile-defense system it plans to base in Poland and the Czech Republic to counter threats from what it calls "rogue states."