Iran launches ballistic missiles during drill

2016-03-08 19:00
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Teheran  - Iran's Revolutionary Guards has launched several medium-range and short-range ballistic missiles in recent days as part of a military exercise, according to the official IRNA news agency.

The missiles had a range of 300- to 2 000km, IRNA quoted General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the IRGC's aerospace division, as saying on Tuesday.

IRNA said the missiles, launched from silos in several locations across the country, demonstrated Iran's "deterrence power" and its readiness to confront threats.

State TV ran what it said was video footage of the operation, showing missiles in underground silos and flashes of light from night-time launches.

State media said the exercise was in its final phase on Tuesday.

The latest tests were called The Power of Velayat, a reference to the religious doctrine of the Islamic republic's leadership, IRNA said.

Sepah News, the IRGC official media service, carried a statement confirming the missile tests, which come less than two weeks after elections in Iran delivered gains to politicians aligned with Hassan Rouhani, the country's moderate president.

The Revolutionary Guards report to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, not Rouhani, and their influence dwarfs that of the army and other armed forces.

In October, Iran successfully test-fired a new guided long-range ballistic surface-to-surface missile. It was the first such test since Iran and world powers reached a landmark nuclear deal last summer.

UN experts said the launch used ballistic missile technology banned under a Security Council resolution. In January, the US imposed new sanctions on individuals and entities linked to the ballistic missile programme.

Iran says none of its missiles are designed to carry nuclear weapons.

Iran claims to have surface-to-surface missiles with a range of 2 000km, capable of striking Israel and US military bases in the region.

Read more on:    iran  |  military

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