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Iran says fired missiles into Indian Ocean
by Staff Writers
Tehran (AFP) July 9, 2011

Iran said it fired two medium range missile into the Indian Ocean six months ago under the eyes of "American spy planes," local media reported on Saturday, quoting a top military commander.

"In Bahman (Iranian month which runs from January 21 to February 19, two Revolutionary Guard missiles with the range of 1,900 kilometres (1,180 miles) were fired from Semnan (central Iran) to the designated targets in the Indian Ocean," said the unit's aerospace chief, Amir Ali Hajizadeh said.

"This took place with the Americans present in the area ... We allowed the American spy planes to be in the area but so far they have not said anything about it," he added, without elaborating on the missiles fired.

The elite Guards wrapped up a 10-day military drill codenamed Great Prophet-6 on Wednesday, during which a number of ballistic missiles were fired.

Tehran's archfoe, the United States, reacted by saying that "Iran, rather than getting itself back in the good graces of the international community ... seems to be bragging about its capabilities, conducting secret programmes, parading new missiles in front of the press."

Tehran says it has a wide range of missiles in its arsenal, and regularly boasts about developing projectiles with substantial range and capabilities. Western military experts, however, cast doubt over its claims.

The Guards carry out such exercises every year, particularly in the Gulf region, and Tehran insists the manoeuvres are purely defensive.

Iranian leaders, however, have repeatedly warned the missiles could reach Israeli territory as well as US bases in the Middle East.

"Iran's missiles have a maximum range of 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) and are designed to reach US targets in the region and the Zionist regime," Hajizadeh said at the start of the military drills.

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