For the past couple days, Iran has conducted missile drills in show-of-force war games. But today, British Foreign Secretary William Hague relays a more concerning development: he told Parliament that Iran has been secretly testing missiles capable of a delivering a nuclear payload. The AFP quotes his statement to lawmakers:
Hague said: "Iran has also been carrying out covert ballistic missile tests and rocket launches, including testing missiles capable of delivering a nuclear payload in contravention of UN resolution 1929." He said Iran had also announced plans to triple its capacity to produce 20 percent enriched uranium, adding: "These are enrichment levels far greater than is needed for peaceful nuclear energy.
Iran, reports Reuters, has immediately denied the allegation. The news outlet quotes Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast saying: "None of the missiles tested by Iran is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead." According to the AFP, "US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Iran was 'bragging' about its assets, but did not specify whether Washington thought the tested missiles were nuclear-capable."
In the Associated Press file-handout picture above from Iran's Iranian Students News Agency, Revolutionary Guardsmen stand near the launch area of a Shahab-1 missile on June 28th.