Monday, June 27, 2011

Iran launches missile war games. A threat to the West? Only if US and Israel strike preemptively English

Iran holds regular missile drills to maintain readiness for possible air strikes. (File photo)
Iran holds regular missile drills to maintain readiness for possible air strikes. (File photo)
Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards launched on Monday missile drills to maintain readiness for possible air strikes, which the United States and Israel have refused to ruled out to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

“Measuring the degree of preparedness of IRGC’s military units, exercising new tactics, presence of young soldiers alongside experienced personnel of IRGC and extensive usage of advanced equipment are among other objectives of Great Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) war games,” Aerospace Commander of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.
The exercise, to be carried out on land and at sea, will include short-, medium- and long-range missiles, especially Khalij-Fars, Sejil, Fateh, Ghiam, and Shahab-1 and -2 missiles.

Iran, which is locked in a dispute with the West over its nuclear activities, regularly announces advances in its military capabilities, though Western military experts usually question them.

The West accuses Tehran of concealing a secret nuclear weapons program, while Iran insists that its program is only for peaceful applications to produce energy.

The US and Israel have refused to rule out possible air strikes against nuclear sites in Iran to prevent the country from producing nuclear weapons.

Iran, which has vowed strong reprisals against any such attacks, says it has a wide range of missiles, some capable of striking Israel and US military interest in the region.

In late May, Iran said it had equipped the Revolutionary Guards with a new surface-to-surface missile, the Qiam-1, which was built locally and test-fired last August.

In February, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari announced that the IRGC has started mass-production of a recently-developed smart anti-ship ballistic missile.

Iran developing a ballistic capability is an alarming concern to the West but the Islamic Republic insists it’s nuclear and space programs have no military objectives.

Mr. Hajizadeh, whose force carries out war games each year in the Gulf region, said the Great Prophet-6 exercise was a “message of peace and friendship to countries of the region.”

He insists the war games were not threat to anyone.

(Dina Al-Shibeeb, a senior editor at Al Arabiya English, can be reached at:

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