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Iran To Fire Ballistic Missiles In War Games

Iran's Shahab-3 missile.
by Staff Writers
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.

"Missiles Shahab-2 and Shahab-3 with cluster warheads and range of over 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) will be shot as well as hundreds of rockets and other missiles such as Fateh and Zolfaghar," Safavi said.

"The first and main goal of this maneuver is to demonstrate power and national determination to defend the country against any possible threat," he added.

The exercises, titled "Great Prophet 2" will mark the first time the Islamic republic fires its Shahab-3 missile during maneuvers.

Iran's military games follow maneuvers launched Monday by a US-led naval force comprising warships from Australia, Bahrain, France, Italy and Britain in the Gulf near Iranian waters aimed at fighting weapons proliferation.

"That is a propaganda and political maneuver without military values," Safavi said, referring to the US-led exercise.

"If forces from out of the region want to jeopardise Iran's security and interests, the revolutionary guards and the (volunteer militia) Basij will use all their capabilities to blow enemies and their interests," he warned, as quoted by the semi-official news agency Fars.

"Heliport operations will be carried out in the Hormozgan region (an area of Straits of Hormuz) and some of the Persian Gulf islands."

The Straits of Hormuz serves as the main passage for oil exports of the Gulf oil countries.

Elaborating on the objective of the operations, Safavi made reference to "defense of sensitive centers, strategic bottlenecks and confrontation of possible troubles."

He also said that "new equipment" will be employed in the operations.

"This maneuver is no threat for the region and neighbours," he said, adding that "neighbours are our friends and enemies of our neighbours are considered as our enemies."

This round of war games will be the country's third this year.

In August, Iranian armed forces held a massive cross country military maneuver, called "Zolfaghar Blow", to test new weapons and tactics against a potential enemy.

The first stage of the "Great Prophet" war games was held in April.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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