Iran begins 10 days of military exercises

Friday, November 3, 2006

Iran's Revolutionary Guards began another series of military exercises on Thursday days after a United States-led naval exercise began in the Persian Gulf. Iran began the 10 days of manoeuvres in the Persian Gulf by test firing dozens of missiles, including the long-range Shahab-3 (estimated range: 2000 km or 1,240 miles), Iranian state-run television said on Thursday. Amongst other weapons tested was the Shahab-2, which Iran says can carry a cluster warhead that can deliver 1,400 bomblets at once.

Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, leader of the Revolutionary Guards, said on television that Iran's military exercises were not meant to threaten neighbouring countries. "We want to show our deterrent and defensive power to trans-regional enemies, and we hope they will understand the message of the manoeuvres," he said. "The first and main goal is to demonstrate the power and national determination to defend the country against possible threat." General Safavi said the exercises would last 10 days and would take place in the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and several Iranian provinces.