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Israelis Want Pressure on Iran Nuke Plans (AP) By JOSEPH COLEMAN JERUSALEM, ISRAEL 07/21/03 9:02 PM) Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25439-2003Jul21.html
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JERUSALEM - Israeli officials urged the United States and Europe on Monday to pressure Iran to stop its alleged nuclear weapons programs after Tehran inaugurated a missile capable of hitting Israel.
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Iran on Sunday equipped its elite revolutionary guards with the locally produced Shahab-3 missile, which can reach Israel and U.S. forces stationed in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
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The unveiling of the missile fanned fears in Israel that Iran was developing technology that could eventually be used to attack the Jewish state with nuclear weapons.
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Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom told European Union foreign ministers in Brussels that Iran´s nuclear program was threatening world stability and warned the new missile could also reach Europe.
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"The EU should take a key role in the last efforts to prevent them from having this ability," he said.
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A senior Israeli official in Jerusalem said that while the missile itself was not an imminent threat, its development showed Iran intends to expand its military capabilities in the region.
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Israel, which has long-range missile capability and is believed to have nuclear weapons, is not defenseless against missile attack. Israel and the United States have spent at least $2 billion developing the Arrow anti-missile system - one of the few systems capable of intercepting and destroying a missile at high altitude.
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European Union foreign ministers, meanwhile, urged Iran to dispel doubts about its nuclear ambitions by allowing the U.N. atomic agency to carry out more intrusive, short-notice inspections of its nuclear facilities.
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The European Union expects Iran to "show full transparency and cooperate fully" with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the ministers said in a joint statement after the meeting in Brussels.
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"It is necessary for Iran to make a significant move now," French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said.
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The United States suspects Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb - an allegation Iran denies, saying its nuclear program is designed to produce energy, not weapons. (© 2003 The Associated Press 07/21/03)
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