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27 Sep, 2009 11:40

Iran tests short-range missiles

Iranian state television is reporting on Sunday that Iran has test-fired short-range missiles as part of military exercises.

Tehran has also announced it will test-launch a medium-range missile on Monday – capable of striking targets up to 2,000 kilometers away, theoretically bringing Israel and US bases in the region in range.

The war games are called "The Great Prophet Four", and the Iranian government says they are designed to improve the country's defense capabilities.

Next week, Iran is expected to hold talks with international mediators on its nuclear plans.

“It is not a coincidence that Iran is spreading these pictures via their English-language channel,” Ruslan Pukhov, a military analyst and head of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies said.

Meanwhile, The Sunday Times online edition claims U.S. President Barack Obama knew about Iran's covert uranium enrichment site almost a year ago.

The paper claims that Obama was briefed about the secret facility when he was elected late last year.

The newspaper notes that he sought a policy of engagement, in a shift from a strategy of isolating Iran.

The online report also says that Iran had found out that Western intelligence agencies knew about the secret plant.

Obama then ordered a detailed dossier to be compiled which could be used in negotiations with Tehran – or, if required, to enlist the support of other countries in imposing sanctions against Iran, The Sunday Times says.