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. Iran boosts "deterrent capability", defence minister says
TEHRAN (AFP) Aug 28, 2004
Iran's Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani said Saturday that the country's "deterrent capabilities" have been stepped up in order to counter "regional enemies".

"Relying on its domestic abilities, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been able to increase its deterrent capabilities against the constant military conspiracy of the regional enemies," Rear Admiral Shamkhani told state television.

He only added that all "ground, air and marine force and missile needs" had been addressed.

In recent weeks there has been a mounting war of words with Israel, which accuses I ran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. The spat has increased speculation that the Jewish state may attempt to attack Iranian nuclear facilities.

Tensions have also mounted with Iraq's interim government as well as the United States, amid allegations that Tehran has been supporting unrest in its neighbour.

Shamkhani did not specify who the "enemies" were, but the term is frequently used to refer to Israel and the US.

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