According to state TV, Iran has test-fired long-range missiles said to be capable of reaching Israel.
The Islamic Republic is reported to have launched Shahab 3 and advanced two-stage Sejil rockets as part of a series of military exercises.
Both are believed to have ranges of up to 2,000 kilometres, putting Israel and US bases in the Gulf potentially within reach. It adds a sense of urgency to Iran’s talks with the West on Thursday.
“On October 1, political leaders will meet in Geneva,” French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told national radio. “I don’t know what the result will be. I hope there will be further meetings and that we can get to the heart of the matter – which is not contained in the Iranian document that allowed this meeting to take place – that is to say its nuclear programme.
“If if goes badly and dialogue does not get started as we would like at a given point, we will resort back to sanctions which have already been voted three times by the United Nations.”
Iran’s Foreign Ministry maintains there is no link between the missile manoeuvres and the country’s nuclear activities. But the rocket fire heightens tension in Tehran’s nuclear row with the West after Iran’s disclosure last week that it is building a second uranium enrichment plant.