Iran General NewsIran Revolutionary Guards hold war games after U.S. exercise

Iran Revolutionary Guards hold war games after U.S. exercise

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New York Times: Iran’s hard-line Revolutionary Guards began another series of war games on Thursday days after a United States-led naval exercise began in the Persian Gulf. The New York Times

By NAZILA FATHI
Published: November 3, 2006

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TEHRAN, Nov. 2 — Iran’s hard-line Revolutionary Guards began another series of war games on Thursday days after a United States-led naval exercise began in the Persian Gulf.

During the Iranian exercise, called Great Prophet 2, dozens of missiles were fired, state-run television news reported.

It showed film of missiles fired from mobile launchers in the deserts near Qum, a religious city south of Tehran, the capital.

“Iranian experts have made some changes” to Shahab missiles, the news report said, “installing cluster warheads in them with the capacity to carry 1,400 bomblets.”

“The first and main goal of this exercise is to demonstrate power and national determination to defend the country against any possible threat,” it added.

Iran also conducted war games in August and April.

Heliport operations in the Strait of Hormuz are expected to follow the latest games.

The maneuvers appeared to be a response to the United States-led naval exercise in the Persian Gulf that began Monday, involving 25 nations, some of them neighbors of Iran. The exercise is aimed at enhancing security in the Persian Gulf and blocking the transportation of unconventional weapons.

A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry condemned the exercise on Sunday and urged neighboring countries to set up their own security arrangements. “We do not consider this exercise appropriate,” said Muhammad Ali Husseini, the spokesman.

Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, leader of the Revolutionary Guards, said on television that Iran’s war games were “no threat for the region or neighboring countries.”

General Safavi said the games would last 10 days and would take place in the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and several Iranian provinces.

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