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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Iran to hold large-scale naval war games

Tehran, Iran, Mar. 29 – Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) will begin large-scale naval exercises in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman on Friday by firing a Shahab-2 missile “to show Iran’s desire for peace and friendship with neighbouring countries”, the IRGC naval chief said on Wednesday.

Rear Admiral Morteza Saffari, who commands the IRGC Navy, told a press conference in the Iranian capital that the naval war games would go on until April 6 with the participation of five IRGC naval garrisons and the assistance of Iran’s regular navy and air force, as well the missiles force, the Bassij, and the State Security Forces.

“Today, Iran is calling for its rightful demands with strength and national unity and these exercises will show an increase of strength and preparedness”, the navy commander added.

Saffari dismissed efforts by the United States to build up international consensus against Tehran over its nuclear program.

“It may seem that this country is trying to bring about international consensus and believes that it has been successful, but this is not the case. It is trying to force Iran into submission through its psychological warfare and its bullying propaganda”.

“We will resist and bear whatever costs that may entail”, Saffari said.

He said that during the naval exercises unmanned airplanes will be used to “collect intelligence about the enemy” and anti-air missiles will be deployed to attack “enemy targets”.

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