Iran steeled for 'foreign threats' as war games launch
AFP | January 22, 2007
Iran is ready to tackle any foreign threats amid a mounting standoff with the West over its nuclear drive, a commander in the elite Revolutionary Guards said Monday as a new round of war games got underway.
"Ground forces of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards are completely ready to tackle any kind of foreign threats," said Majid Ayeneh, artillery commander of the Revolutionary Guards whose forces are engaged in military exercises being held 140 kilometres (90 miles) southeast of the capital Tehran.
Short-range missiles were to be tested during the war games, taking place just a month after the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on Iran over its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment.
Ayeneh said among missiles to be tested were the Fajr 5, which military sources have reported has a range of around 75 kilometres (45 miles), and the Zelzal which is said to have a range of between 100 to 400 kilometres (60 to 250 miles).
The missile tests were initially planned to span three days but on Monday were extended to four, local media reported.
Also on Monday, Iran announced it had decided to block 38 inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency from entering the country, the head of parliament's national security commission told ISNA news agency.
The missile tests were announced just days after Iran's top nuclear negotiator said the nation's armed forces were ready to face any threat to its nuclear installations amid speculation Washington may be planning a military strike.
In November 2006, Iran test-fired its Shahab-3 ballistic missile, which has a range of up to 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles) -- sufficient to threaten US bases in the Gulf.
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