Is trouble brewing in Tehran? A missile test-fired in Iran is the longest-range weapon of its type to be launched by the Islamic Republic, U.S. officials confirm. The solid-propellent missile has a range of 1200 to 1500 miles, meaning that Israel, U.S. bases in the Middle East, and parts of Eastern Europe are within Iran's striking distance. Unlike liquid-propelled rockets, solid-propelled rockets can be fueled in advance and moved or hidden in silos, enabling the owner to defy preemptive strikes. Defense Secretary Robert Gates confirmed on Wednesday that the test was "successful," but noted that technical issues continue to plague Tehran's weaponry. The presence of advanced long-range missiles in Iran may fortify arguments for American-supported anti-missile defenses in Israel. Speaking before a stadium audience in the province where the missile launched, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held no punches: "Iran will send enemies to hell before they strike... Iranian people are so powerful now. If a bullet wants to be shot toward it, Iran will destroy the base and all its members before they shoot."
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