Iran’s defense minister denies reports of testing missile that could hit Israel


(JTA) — Iran’s defense minister denied reports that the country successfully test-fired a high-precision ballistic missile that can reach Israel.

“We haven’t test-fired a missile with the range the media is reporting,” Hossein Dehghan was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA, Reuters reported Monday. He reportedly also said that Iran is continuing to increase its defensive capabilities, including its ballistic missile program.

Earlier Monday, the state-run Tasnim News Agency reported that the deputy chief of staff of Iran’s military, Brig. Gen. Ali Abdollahi, announced the test at a scientific conference in Tehran of a missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers, or more than 1,200 miles, and a high degree of accuracy. He said the test took place two weeks ago but provided no further details.

The White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, said Monday that the administration is aware of statements by Iranian officials indicating the missile test did not take place.

“We’re still trying to get to the bottom of what exactly transpired,” Earnest said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The United States has criticized recent missiles tests by Iran.

In March, its Revolutionary Guard conducted tests of short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, which it said were not capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

In October, Iran tested a new guided long-range ballistic missile, which may have violated the nuclear deal agreed upon in July with the world powers, as well as a United Nations Security Council resolution that bars Iran from developing missiles “designed to carry nuclear warheads.”

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