U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says Iran has successfully tested a medium-range missile capable of reaching Israel, southeastern Europe and U.S. bases in the Middle East.
Gates told a U.S. congressional hearing that the Iranian missile fired on Wednesday has a range of 2,000 to 2,500 kilometers. He says at this stage of testing, the missile's range likely is closer to 2,000 kilometers because of engine problems.
Gates says he does not know if the missile hit its target as Iran claims. Earlier, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on a visit to the northern city of Semnan that Iran had test-fired a Sejil-2 missile from the area.
The U.S. State Department says it will continue urging Iran to stop developing sensitive nuclear and missile technology because such activity "diminishes" regional security.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a congressional hearing Wednesday a nuclear-armed Iran will spark an arms race in the Middle East. Iran says its nuclear program is meant to produce electricity.
A U.S. official says the Obama administration wants to engage with Iran to make the region more stable, but views the missile test as "a step in the wrong direction." The official says U.S. patience is "not infinite."
The White House says the Iranian missile program is of great concern to President Barack Obama.
The solid-fuel surface-to-surface missile launched Wednesday is a new version of the Sejil that Iran said it had successfully tested in November. The United States called the earlier test a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon says Iran's latest rocket launch should worry European countries because it means that Iran now has a missile that could hit that continent.
He says Iran also is trying to develop a missile with a range of 10-thousand kilometers that could hit the United States.
Iranian President Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map." Israel has not ruled out military action against Iran's nuclear facilities.