Shihab-3 missile launch
Shihab-3 missile launch Israel News Photo: (archive)

Iran has tripled the number of long-range missiles in its possession since the start of 2008, according to Israel's Channel 10TV station.

According to the Monday night report, Iran possessed about 30 Shihab-3 missiles at the beginning of the year. Currently, the country claims to have more than 100 of the missiles, which are capable of hitting Israel with conventional or atomic warheads.

The Shihab-3 is a single-stage, liquid-fuel ballistic missile with a range of between 800 miles (1,280 km) and more than 1,200 miles (1,930 km). The longer-range missiles are sometimes called Shihab-4.

In November, Iran introduced a new long-range solid-fuel missile, called the Sajjil, which it called a high-speed, high-capacity missile with improved accuracy. Iranian officials said that the range of the Sajjil was up to 1,200 miles (1,930 km), placing southeastern Europe and all of Israel well within range. The Fateh, another solid-fuel missile in Iran's arsenal, has a range of just 100 miles (170km). Solid-fuel missiles are reported to be more accurate than the liquid-fuel variants.

The long-range Iranian missiles, capable of carrying non-conventional warheads, pose a first- and second-strike threat against Israel. Iran is pushing ahead with a nuclear weapons program that Israel considers a strategic threat, as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has promised that Israel will soon be wiped off the map.