Moscow – Iran is not in possession of the necessary technology to build intercontinental missiles, its strategic partner Russia said Tuesday, following conflicting reports that Tehran had tested long- or medium-range missiles.
Iranian technology was ‘not even (sufficient) for prototypes,’ Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Vadim Koval told Interfax news agency.
Even if Tehran were constructing medium- or long-range missiles, these would not be combat-ready anytime soon, Koval added.
On Monday, Tehran conducted successful tests of missiles that some local media referred to as having long-range and medium-range capabilities – definitions that apply beyond a reach of 3,500 kilometres.
However, the Qader missile, one of three tested Monday, has a standard range of 200 kilometres. The tests were also scheduled to include the short-range Nassr missile and the Noor ground-to-ground missile.
The tests came amid heightened tensions between Iran and the United States, after earlier threats that Tehran might block access to the Strait of Hormuz, a vital oil shipping route.
Russia recently constructed Iran’s first nuclear fuel reactor and struck a new oil deal with Tehran, despite international sanctions against Iran’s petroleum industry.