Iran Testing 'Nuke-Capable Missiles'
Mid-range missiles could carry atomic warheads to US targets
By Tim Karan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2011 1:31 PM CDT
Iranian revolutionary Guards personnel, foreground, watch the launch of a Zelzal missile during military maneuvers outside the city of Qom, Iran.   (AP Photo/Mehr News Agency, Raouf Mohseni)
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(Newser) – Iran has conducted secret tests of nuclear-capable missiles, but the country says the exercise was a "message of peace and friendship." Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards admit to launching 14 missiles—one capable of reaching Israel or US targets in the Gulf—from an underground silo. British Foreign Secretary William Hague has another term for it: Violation of UN policy, reports the AFP.

The Guards' aerospace commander says Iran's missile program exists as defense against "US targets in the region and the Zionist regime," and insists it poses no threat to Europe. Western governments fear Iran is developing the ability to launch atomic warheads under the guise of its civil nuclear program, and Hague says the country is planning to produce 20% enriched uranium, which is "far greater than is needed for peaceful nuclear energy," says Hague. "We will maintain and continue to increase pressure on Iran to negotiate an agreement on their nuclear program."