Turkey voices concern over Iranian missile test
ANKARA (AFP) Jun 02, 2001
Turkey has expressed concern over a new surface-to-surface guided missile test by its eastern neighbor, Iran.

"The test of a Fateh missile by Iran on May 31 has caused concern in our country," Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Huseyin Dirioz said in a written statement late Friday.

"We have repeatedly conveyed to Iran our concerns over the issue and we are closely following the developments," he added.

Iranian state television reported Thursday that Iran has successfully tested the home-built Fateh (Victorious) 110 missile, stressing that it would be among the most effective weapons in the country's armed forces.

There was no official word on the details of the missile, notably its range.

Last year Iran successfully launched the Shahab-3 missile with a range of 1,300 kilometres (800 miles), bringing arch-foe Israel in reach.

Turkey, mainly Muslim but strictly secular, has often accused Tehran of supporting radical Islamist groups in Turkey as part of what Turkish officials describe as Iran's bid to export the Islamic revolution.

Ankara has also complained over what it sees as Iranian tolerance to the presence on its territory of Kurdish rebels who have waged a 15-year war against Ankara for self-rule.

Tehran rejects both accusations.

Iran is developing a comprehensive domestic defence industry which has turned out a new transport plane, a combat helicopter, a submarine and a guided-missile warship.

It has also decided to resume military purchases from Russia, to the annoyance of the United States, which deems Iran a supporter of terrorism.