U.S. officials condemn Iran's missile test

July 9, 2008 at 7:04 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 9 (UPI) -- Iran's missile testing reinforces the need for a missile defense system in Europe, the White House and U.S. Cabinet officials said Wednesday.

"Iran's development of ballistic missiles is a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and completely inconsistent with Iran's obligations to the world," White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe told reporters traveling with U.S. President George Bush in Japan.

The test of medium- and long-range missiles "addresses the doubts raised by the Russians that the Iranians won't have a longer-range ballistic missile for 10 to 20 years," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said. "The fact is, they just tested a pretty extended-range (weapon)."

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed an agreement with the Czech Republic Tuesday to locate a radar facility in that country. The United States and Poland reached a tentative agreement for a missile facility on Polish soil.

The test "is certainly contrary to the spirit of Security Council resolutions and the will of the international community," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. "The fact that they also are saying that they are testing missiles of medium and long range certainly also adds some weight to the argument about missile defense and why you need missile defense."

Gates said "a lot of signaling" is going on among Iran, Israel and the United States.

"I think everybody recognizes what the consequences of any kind of a conflict would be," he said.

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