NewsSpecial WireIran claims it has test-fired new missiles

Iran claims it has test-fired new missiles

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Iran Focus: London, Nov. 03 – Iranian state television claimed on Friday that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) had successfully test-fired several new coast-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles in the Persian Gulf. Iran Focus

London, Nov. 03 – Iranian state television claimed on Friday that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) had successfully test-fired several new coast-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles in the Persian Gulf.

The report identified the new missile models as Noor (Light), Kowthar (Eternal spring), and Nasr (Victory). The missiles which have a range of approximately 170 kilometres were launched by the IRGC Navy over Gulf waters on Friday, it said.

“With this improvement in defence technologies, we have increased the military strength and preparedness of the country’s defence forces in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman”, the deputy chief of the IRGC Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi was quoted as saying.

Admiral Fadavi said that the Noor missiles had been upgraded in “precision and range”.

The IRGC is currently holding 10-day-long military exercises, code-named the “Great Prophet 2”, involving its Army, Navy, and Air Force as well as the paramilitary Bassij. On Thursday, Tehran announced that it had successfully fired Shahab 2 and Shahab 3 missiles. The Shahab 3 is capable of reaching Israel and United States forces in the Middle East.

Several dozen long-range and short-range missiles, including the Shahab 2, Shahab 3, Fateh-110, Zolfaqar-103, Zolfaghar-73, Scud B, and Zelzal, were test-fired during the first stage of the drills, state television said, adding that a Shahab 3 missile armed with a cluster warhead, ranging 2,000 kilometres (1,242 miles), was test-fired.

State media has been reporting the entry of “new” and “upgraded” weaponry in Iran’s arms stock through 2006.

In April, the IRGC conducted naval war-games, dubbed “Great Prophet”, in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman. During the exercises, Iran put on display what it claimed were new stealth missiles, sonar-evading torpedoes, and even a “flying boat”.

In August, Iran’s regular Armed Forces held similar military exercises, dubbed “Blow of Zolfaghar”, on the country’s eastern and western frontiers. At the time, state media was abuzz with reports of “successful launches of newly-developed missiles”.

A month later, however, to Tehran’s embarrassment, the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran revealed that Iranian state television footage aired at the time of the drills was identical to that which was shown in December 2005.

“The claim that a ‘Sagheb surface-to-surface missile’ was used was simply a propaganda gesture since the clip that was aired of it being fired as a new missile was in a blatant forgery identical to the clip of the December 2005 manoeuvres called ‘Peyravan Velayat’ (Followers of the Jurisprudent) in which the same missile was introduced as ‘Kerm Abrisham missile’”, the NCRI’s Defence and Strategic Studies Committee announced in a statement on September 14.

“Much of the images and television clips of the war games were repeats and hastily put together from manoeuvres in previous years”, it said. “The armaments used were mostly old military hardware belonging to the army such as T-55 Tanks, mini-Katyusha guns and 130 and 155mm mortars which were used in the eight-year Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s and had since been ‘renovated’ by the regime’s defence industries”.

Iran has a dual military system with a regular Armed Forces as well as the IRGC. Both have their own Army, Navy, and Air Force and report directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

United States-led forces carried out naval war-games in the Persian Gulf earlier this week in what analysts have said are meant to serve as a warning to Tehran.

Twenty five nations, including Britain, France, Italy, and Bahrain, took part in the naval exercises as part of the U.S. Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). The goal of the exercises was to practice blocking transports of weapons of mass destruction.

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