Iran Opens Military Drill, Shows Missiles in Silos

Posted June 27th, 2011 at 2:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Iran's Revolutionary Guards have started a 10-day missile training exercise that includes the testing of weapons with enough range to reach Israel and U.S. bases in the region.

Iranian state media announced the exercises on Monday, saying they are designed to preserve “readiness against enemy strikes,” an apparent reference to Israel and the West.

Iran state television broadcast pictures of underground missile silos that a military official says are designed for “swift reaction.”

The United States and Israel suspect Iran is planning to build nuclear warheads for its missiles. Iran denies nuclear weapons ambitions, saying its missiles are conventional and designed for the nation's protection.

Iranian media say the war games are dubbed “Great Prophet 6” and quote commander Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh saying they will include the testing of short-, medium- and long-range missiles. His forces carry out war games each year in the Persian Gulf.

Iranian officials have said the country plans to further boost its missile program. Earlier this year, Iran's Defense Ministry said it had armed its navy with new coastal cruise missile systems.