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Iran successfully test-fires 2 missiles

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Iran has successfully test-fired two missiles, including a long-range ballistic weapon, the official IRNA news agency reported on Monday.

The report by IRNA quoted President Hassan Rouhani as congratulating the military.

The “children of Iran successfully test-fired a new generation” of weapons, he said.

The test came a day after a group of lawmakers accused Mr. Rouhani of halting a scheduled missile exercise. It was not clear if this was the same test.

Mr. Rouhani’s policy of outreach to the West and its centerpiece, a deal on Iran’s disputed nuclear program, is opposed by hard-liners who accuse him of giving away too much for too little.

Iran has pursued military self-sufficiency since 1992. It produces tanks, jet fighters, submarines and warships, as well as weapons for these systems.

From time to time it announces technological breakthroughs, most of which cannot be independently verified.

The report did not say if the missiles were new designs, but the term “new generation” suggests that they were upgrades of existing ones.

It said the ballistic missile had radar-evading capabilities, but did not give a name. It said the second missile was called Bina, or “Insightful,” and was laser-guided. It said it could be fired from the ground or from aircraft.

Iran already has surface-to-surface missiles with a range of about 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) capable of reaching Israel and U.S. military bases in the region.

Both Israel and the U.S. are at odds with Iran over its nuclear program and they have not ruled out a military option against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities.

Also Monday, Iran’s foreign ministry summoned Swiss ambassador Giulio Haas to protest what it said were “baseless allegations” by the U.S. Treasury Department against Iran, IRNA reported. The Swiss Embassy looks after American diplomatic interests in Iran.

On Thursday, the Treasury Department announced it was penalizing dozens of foreign companies and individuals for evading Iran sanctions. The targets of the sanctions are located in Turkey, Spain, Germany, Georgia, Afghanistan, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Liechtenstein. Treasury accused the entities and individuals of evading U.S. sanctions against Iran, aiding Iranian nuclear and missile proliferation, and supporting terrorism.

Washington imposed sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, which it says was aimed at developing weapons technology. Iran denies this and says its program is for peaceful purposes.

The U.S. and five other world powers are meeting Feb. 18 with Iran in Vienna as they work to turn the first-step interim deal into a pact that would stop certain Iranian nuclear activities in exchange for ending sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

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