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Iran test-fires missiles that can hit Israel

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Iran reportedly test-fired medium-range missiles that could strike Israel, parts of Europe and American bases in the Persian Gulf region.

"Iranian missiles are able to target any place that threatens Iran," said Abdullah Araqi, a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards official, according to Iran’s semi-official news agency Fars.

The Monday tests of the Shahab-3 and Sejil-2 missiles, in addition to short-range missile tests on Sunday, came just days before a Thursday meeting between Iran and the P5+1 powers — the United States, Great Britian, France, Russia, China and Germany — to discuss Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, and just days after the United States, France and Britain publicly revealed the existence of a secret nuclear processing plan under contruction in the Iranian city of Qom.

An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the missile tests were not connected to either event but had been planned long in advance, according to The New York Times.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported that the Obama administration is targeting for sanctions the insurance and reinsurance companies that underwrite the shipments of goods Iranian companies make throughout the world. The administration also is looking at targeting companies that evade trading restrictions by shipping through third parties in other countries.

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