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Iran Says Will Use Ballistic Missiles If Attacked

File photo of Iran's Shahab-3 missiles.
by Staff Writers
Tehran (AFP) Jan 28, 2006
The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Saturday that the Islamic republic was ready to use its ballistic missiles if attacked.

"Iran has a ballistic missile capability of 2,000 kilometres (1,280 miles). We do not intend to attack any country, but if we are attacked we have the capability to give an effective response. Our policy is defensive," General Yahya Rahim Safavi told state television.

He was referring to Iran's meduim-range Shahab-3 missiles, which are capable of hitting arch-enemy Israel and US bases across the Middle East.

It is not clear how many of the missiles Iran has. Iranian military officials insist they are only tipped with conventional warheads.

The country is currently under mounting international pressure overs its disputed nuclear energy drive, seen by Israel and the West as a cover for weapons development.

Iran is facing referral to the UN Security Council over its nuclear programme, although Western leaders say it is still premature to talk of tough sanctions against Iran -- let alone military action.

In Israel, however, several officials have openly hinted at the possibility of pre-emptive strikes against Iran, seen as a threat to the existence of the Jewish state.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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