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Iran fires more missiles in war games

Iran fires more missiles in war games

AFP
July 10, 2008

Iran test-fired more weaponry on Thursday as it continued war games, ignoring global concern over its launch of a broadside of missiles amid efforts to end the crisis over its nuclear programme.

The weapons fired in the Gulf by the naval section of the Revolutionary Guards included shore-to-sea, surface-to-surface and sea-to-air missiles, state television said. No details were given on the names of the missiles.

It said the war games also included firing the Hoot (Whale) torpedo that Iran unveiled in April 2006 and which it says is a super-fast weapon capable of hitting enemy submarines.

Iran on Wednesday test-fired its Shahab-3 long-range missile, which the Islamic republic says can reach Israel and US bases in the Gulf, and eight other more medium-range missiles.

The move sparked major concern in Western governments which say they fear Iran’s nuclear drive is aimed at making atomic weapons, a charge that Tehran vehemently denies.

In a separate land exercise late on Wednesday, the military also fired “longer and medium range missiles,” state television said, showing several missiles being fired into the night sky.

Footage was also broadcast of the naval manoeuvres, showing divers fixing mines to a pier, missiles being fired from shore-based mobile launchers and the Hoot speeding towards a target.

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Israel ’ready to act’ over Iran

BBC
July 10, 2008

Israel’s defence minister has warned of his country’s readiness to act against Iran if it feels threatened.

Ehud Barak, speaking in Tel Aviv, said Israel had “proved in the past that it won’t hesitate to act when its vital security interests are at stake”.

He spoke as Iran’s testing of missiles that could reach Israel stoked tensions between the two, and with the US.

But Mr Barak added that diplomatic solutions should be pursued before other options were taken up.

“Currently the focus is international sanctions and vigorous diplomatic activity, and these avenues should be exhausted,” he said.

US warning

Over the past two days, the Iranian military has tested missiles, including one that it says could reach Israel.

State media said the tests included the first night launch of the Shahab-3 missile, said to have a range of 2,000km (1,240 miles), along with shore-to-sea, surface-to-surface and sea-to-air missiles.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the US had increased its security in the region and Iran should not be “confused” about US capabilities.

Israel has responded to the missile tests by putting on display one of its aircraft that it says can spy on Iran.

The state-run Israel Aerospace Industries says it has equipped its Eitam aeroplane, unveiled a year ago, with sophisticated intelligence-gathering systems.

Mr Barak spoke of the “potential for accords, particularly with the Palestinians and the Syrians”, but stressed that the situation was very complex.

Quoted by Israeli news website Ynet, Mr Barak said: “We must work towards an accord – but if not, then we must strike our enemy when it is required.”

He also warned that Israel must consider the reactions from other nations in the region that could be provoked by action against Iran.

“The responses of our adversaries must be taken into account. Hamas and Hezbollah and the Syrians and the Iranians – there is activity all around us. And there exists a potential for confrontation.”

Meanwhile, the AFP news agency has issued a warning that a still image of the missiles being launched, one of several distributed by Iran, was “apparently digitally altered”.

The photograph, published on the Iranian Revolutionary Guards website and reproduced by media organisations – including the BBC News website – showed four missiles taking off from a desert launch-pad.

But a similar image, issued by the Associated Press, shows one of the missiles still in its launcher after apparently failing to fire.

The BBC News website’s picture editor, Phil Coomes, said: “Having examined the photograph from AFP, it can be seen that parts have been edited, with smoke trails and parts of the foreground being cloned.”

In recent weeks, both Israel and Iran have been testing and showing off their military hardware, each saying that in the event of provocation it is more than capable of defending itself.

The Israeli air force recently carried out a large-scale exercise over the Mediterranean – regarded by many observers as a dress rehearsal should the order be given to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. Israel believes Iran is building nuclear weapons, although Tehran insists its nuclear programme is purely for civilian energy.

Western leaders have been trying to convince Iran to stop enriching uranium, which it has continued doing despite sanctions from the UN and the European Union.

 

Gates: Missile Test Proves Iran A Threat

AP
July 9, 2008

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says Iran’s missile test bolsters the U.S. argument that Tehran is a threat. He also says it counters Russia’s case against the need for a missile defense system in Europe.

Gates says the U.S. has said for some time that there is a real threat Iran could develop long-range missiles to use against Europe. He says Tehran’s launch of several missiles Wednesday helps make that point.

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