DATE=2/29/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=IRAN-U-S (L ONLY) NUMBER=2-259679 BYLINE=JIM RANDLE DATELINE=PENTAGON CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The general who commands all U-S troops in the Middle East says even though Iranian voters have elected a reform-minded majority in parliament, Iran is still the biggest threat facing Americans in the region. V-O-A's Jim Randle reports. TEXT: Four-star U-S Marine General Anthony Zinni says Iran's recent election was `good news' that may eventually move Teheran into a less confrontational relationship with Washington. But General Zinni tells the Senate Armed Services Committee that `hard-liners' still control Iran's intelligence services, which support terrorist groups. He says hard line factions also still run Iran's military, and its programs to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles needed to deliver them. /// ZINNI ACT /// They continue to pursue, obviously, missiles with greater range and greater accuracy. We expect to see shortly tests of missiles like the Shahab three. /// END ACT /// Military experts say the Shahab Three is a medium- range ballistic missile that can carry a 700-kilogram warhead about 13-hundred kilometers. That means it could reach targets in Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, many Gulf States, Russia, India, and Pakistan. General Zinni says he hopes moderates continue to make political gains and that the various political factions in Iran can work out their differences in a peaceful way. But he says the weapons programs may make Iran a `real' threat in the near future.(Signed). NEB/jr/gm 29-Feb-2000 15:55 PM EDT (29-Feb-2000 2055 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .