Iran to Fire Missiles in Practice Counterstrike

An Iranian Shahab 3 ballistic missile, shown in 2000 during a military parade in Tehran. Iran is expected to include the weapon in a multiday armed forces drill this week, according to state media (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi).
An Iranian Shahab 3 ballistic missile, shown in 2000 during a military parade in Tehran. Iran is expected to include the weapon in a multiday armed forces drill this week, according to state media (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi).

Iran was set to launch ballistic and nonballistic missiles at simulated enemy targets during a three-day exercise starting this week, Agence France-Presse quoted the nation's Revolutionary Guard as saying (see GSN, March 7; Agence France-Presse I/Yahoo!News, July 1).

The initial stage of the "Great Prophet 7" drill began on Monday, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported (Islamic Republic News Agency, July 2).

"Long-, medium- and short-range surface-to-surface missiles will be fired from different locations in Iran ... at replica air bases like those used by out-of-region military forces," said Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, chief of the Revolutionary Guard's aerospace division (Agence France-Presse I, July 1).

The effort is intended as preparation for an Iranian retaliation against U.S. or Israeli assets following potential air strikes on Tehran's atomic sites, according to AFP (see related GSN story, today).

Iran's Shahab 3 ballistic missile, a weapon capable of traveling up to 1,200 miles, was among "tens of different missiles" slated for involvement in the exercise, according to IRNA. Other armaments -- including the Fateh, Tondar, Zelzal, Khalij Fars and Qiam missiles -- have maximum flight distances as low as 124 miles and as high as 466 miles.

A "replica air base" would serve as the focus of the maneuvers, according to a Revolutionary Guard release. The facsimile site was designed along the lines of U.S. armed forces sites in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Hajizadeh suggested.

"If they (the Israelis) make a move, they will give us a pretext to obliterate them from the face of the earth," the official said in a remark quoted by IRNA.

"Since the U.S. bases are within the range of our missiles and weapons, they (the Americans) definitely will not be pressured to go along with this regime (Israel)" in any armed campaign, he added (Farhad Pouladi, Agence France-Presse/Spacewar.com, July 2).

July 2, 2012
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Iran was set to launch ballistic and nonballistic missiles at simulated enemy targets during a three-day exercise starting this week, Agence France-Presse quoted the nation's Revolutionary Guard as saying.

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