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Fri, Nov 03, 2006

The Saber Rattling Continues In Iran

Revolutionary Guards Test-Fire Three New Missiles

In a response to US-led military exercises in the Persian Gulf, Iran test-fired three models of a new anti-ship missile Thursday. The tests were televised via Iran's state-run networks.

Iranian Admiral Sardar Fadavi told the Associated Press the Noor, Kowsar and Nasr up the maximum range of Iran's previous anti-shipping weapons from 75 to 106 miles.

Fadavi says the weapons give Iran the capability to cover the entire Gulf area including the Strait of Hormuz and the sea of Oman. The Strait of Hormuz is of particular strategic interest as nearly 20-percent of the world's oil moves through it daily.

The Iranian government seems particularly keen to reassure neighboring countries the war games and tests aren't meant to intimidate or threaten them.

Iranian military spokesman General Ali Fazli said, "The maneuvers are not a threat to any neighboring country. We are in good interaction with our neighbors."

Fadavi told a reporter on state-run TV the demonstration was intended as a response to recent US military activity in the Guld saying, "Our enemies should keep their hostility  off the Persian Gulf. They should not initiate any move that would make the region tense."

The different models of the missile allow Iran to fire it from land-based mobile launchers, or from launchers aboard warships. Iran's state TV says they are all Iranian-made.

The tests were conducted in conjunction with Revolutionary Guard war games the military is calling "Great Prophet." Iran's military kicked off the maneuvers by firing dozens of long-range missiles in the desert sands of central Iran.



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