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Iran Test-Fires More New Weapons In War Games

Iran's Revolutionary Guards fire test missiles during the first phase of military manoeuvres in the central desert outside the holy city of Qom, 02 November 2006. Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Staff Writers
Tehran (AFP) Nov 4, 2006
Iran on Saturday announced it had successfully test-fired new armour-piercing weaponry and an anti-helicopter missile system on the third day of its latest war games. "The new generation of anti-helicopter and anti-armour weapons were successfully tested on day three of the manoeuvres," an announcer on state television said as pictures of the test-firing were broadcast.

In the "Great Prophet II" war games, due to last 10 days, Iran has so far fired its Shahab-3 longer range missile for the first time in manoeuvres as well as new types of land-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles.

The armour-piercing weapons tested Saturday include a rifle equipped with special sights that can identify an enemy seven kilometres (four miles) away and can penetrate a target wearing a bullet-resistant vest from a distance of three kilometres (one-and-a-half miles).

The other new anti-armour weapon tested was a system aimed at penetrating the armour plate of tanks that "can be carried by a person, with high accuracy, high speed and high explosive power".

"The bullet of this system penetrates the armoured equipment and then explodes," state television said.

The anti-helicopter weaponry was described as highly portable and accurate. Four anti-helicopter missiles can be fired from each system.

"The anti-helicopter weapon can hit helicopters in different circumstances," the television added.

"The anti-armour weapon has the ability to penetrate different kinds of advanced bullet-armour vests" as well as the armoured exterior of tanks, it said.

The war games come against a backdrop of rising international tension over Iran's nuclear programme, with the United States leading a drive for UN sanctions against Tehran over its failure to suspend uranium enrichment.

They also coincide with manoeuvres by a US-led naval force in the Gulf off Iran in a test of capabilities to halt trafficking in weapons of mass destruction, the first time such an excercise has been held in the area.

The head of the Iranian parliament's security commission, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, on Saturday lashed out at the US-led manoeuvres, which he said would increase tension in the region.

"The imperialist countries like the United States are here with bad intentions. They are unwanted guests whose presence is a source of instability and trouble in the region," he said according to the IRNA agency.

earlier related report
Israel urges world action after Iran missile test
Tel Aviv (AFP) Nov 3 - Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz urged the world to act Friday after Iran claimed to have fired longer-range ballistic missiles for the first time, the defence ministry said.

"Iran provoked the whole world on Thursday and it is impossible to ignore it," Peretz was quoted as having said following talks with visiting German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung, a statement said.

"I have no doubt that the German defence minister understands we cannot stay indifferent while Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons and has an official ideology that advocates the destruction of Israel," Peretz added.

"The international community and of course Germany, who plays a key role in this matter, should convey these message and take steps to impose it."

After their meeting, his German counterpart told reporters that Israel could "count on Germany to try to prevent this country (Iran) from getting the nuclear weapon".

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Friday they had fired three new types of land-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles on the second day of military exercises in Gulf waters, state television reported.

Launching the "Great Prophet" war games on Thursday, Israel's arch-enemy Iran said it fired its longer-range Shahab-3 ballistic missile for the first time amid a mounting standoff with the West over its nuclear programme.

Jung was in Israel following talks in Lebanon, at a time when Germany commands the marine component of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), in its first military foray into the Middle East since World War II.

He said after talks with Peretz that Israel was "very satisfied with Germany's participation in UNIFIL".

While in Beirut, Jung said he expected no more shooting incidents between the Israeli army and German forces backing up a UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.

"I assure you that no more incidents of this kind are going to happen," he said following talks with Prime Minister Fuad Siniora on Friday.

Berlin said last week that Israeli warplanes fired shots over a helicopter and an unarmed German vessel off the Lebanese coast.

earlier related report
Rice warns Iran after missile launches
Washington (AFP) Nov 2, 2006 - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice chided Iran for trying to act "tough" after it fired a new long-range missile for the first time on Thursday, but warned Tehran would "suffer greatly" if it used the weapon in anger.

Iranian forces launched the Shahab-3 ballistic missile as they began 10 days of war games that coincide with US-led efforts to impose UN-mandated sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.

"I think they're trying to demonstrate that they're tough," Rice said of the missile test.

"But the Iranians also I think are not unaware that the security environment is one in which if they actually were to do something, Iran would suffer greatly and so I think they probably understand that," she said in a radio interview.

Referring to Iran's refusal to comply with a UN Security Council resolution demanding it abandon suspect nuclear activities, Rice said: "I think the Iranians are a threat and that's why the international community's got to be strong in resisting their ambitions."

She said Thursday's missile test was Iran's way of telling the world "you're not going to keep us from getting a nuclear weapon".

"The world has to say to them, yes, we will," she said.

Rice was speaking amid ongoing negotiations between the US and its big power partners over a package of sanctions designed to force Iran to give up its uranium enrichment program.

Iran insists the program is aimed at providing fuel for nuclear power plants while Washington and others suspect the ultimate aim is to develop atomic weapons.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Iran To Fire Ballistic Missiles In War Games
Tehran (AFP) Nov 01, 2006
Iran's Revolutionary Guards will fire off ballistic missiles with a range of more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) during war games this week, state television reported Wednesday. The air, land and naval maneuvers will take place in 14 provinces starting Thursday "with the focus on the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea," army chief General Rahim Safavi was quoted by the television as saying.

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