Iran successfully test-fired a missile that can avoid radar and hit several targets simultaneously using multiple warheads, the military said Friday.
The Fajr-3, which means "Victory" in Farsi, can reach Israel and U.S. bases in the Middle East, state Iranian media indicated causing alarm in the United States and Israel. The announcement also is likely to stoke regional tensions and feed suspicion about Tehran's military intentions and nuclear ambitions.
"I think it demonstrates that Iran has a very active and aggressive military program under way," State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said in Washington. "I think Iran's military posture, military development effort, is of concern to the international community.
Israel said it too was alarmed by the missile report.
"This news causes much concern," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said.
Gen. Hossein Salami, the air force chief of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, did not specify the missile's range, saying it depends on the weight of its warheads.
But state-run television described the weapon as "ballistic" suggesting it's of comparable range to Iran's existing ballistic rocket, which can travel over 2,000 kilometers (about 1,200 miles) and reach arch-foe Israel and U.S. bases in Iraq and the Persian Gulf region.
"Today, a remarkable goal of the Islamic Republic of Iran's defense forces was realized with the successful test-firing of a new missile with greater technical and tactical capabilities than those previously produced," Salami said on television, which showed a brief clip of the missile's launch.
"It can avoid anti-missile missiles and strike the target," Salami said.
He said the missile would carry a multiple warhead, and each warhead would be capable of hitting its target precisely, reports AP.