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Israeli air force head claims Russia aiding Iran on missile

JERUSALEM, April 14 (JTA) — The commander of the Israeli air force said this week that Iran, with the aid of Russia, had conducted a ground test of a ballistic missile capable of reaching Israel. In an appearance Monday before an aviation club, Maj. Gen. Eitan Ben-Eliahu said Russia had been helping Tehran develop a ballistic missile with a range of some 930 miles, which means that it could reach Israel. Both Israel and the United States have been closely following recent developments in light of an agreement Moscow signed with Tehran to supply the Islamic state with missile technology. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced his concern about Russian transfers of missile technology to Iran when he visited Moscow last month and met with Russian President Boris Yeltsin. The matter is also expected to be raised when the Russian deputy foreign minister visits Israel next week on the first leg of a regional tour. Ben-Eliahu also maintained Monday that in addition to Iran, other Arab states had been developing non-conventional weapons. He added that the Israeli air force required additional resources to contend with these potential threats.