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Monday, November 06, 2006

Iran Test-Fires More New Weapons In War Games

Agence France-Presse
Nov 6, 2006 - 6:24:02 AM

Tehran: Iran on Saturday announced it had successfully test-fired new armour-piercing weaponry and an anti-helicopter missile system on the third day of its latest war games. "The new generation of anti-helicopter and anti-armour weapons were successfully tested on day three of the manoeuvres," an announcer on state television said as pictures of the test-firing were broadcast.

In the "Great Prophet II" war games, due to last 10 days, Iran has so far fired its Shahab-3 longer range missile for the first time in manoeuvres as well as new types of land-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles.

The armour-piercing weapons tested Saturday include a rifle equipped with special sights that can identify an enemy seven kilometres (four miles) away and can penetrate a target wearing a bullet-resistant vest from a distance of three kilometres (one-and-a-half miles).

The other new anti-armour weapon tested was a system aimed at penetrating the armour plate of tanks that "can be carried by a person, with high accuracy, high speed and high explosive power".

"The bullet of this system penetrates the armoured equipment and then explodes," state television said.

The anti-helicopter weaponry was described as highly portable and accurate. Four anti-helicopter missiles can be fired from each system.

"The anti-helicopter weapon can hit helicopters in different circumstances," the television added.

"The anti-armour weapon has the ability to penetrate different kinds of advanced bullet-armour vests" as well as the armoured exterior of tanks, it said.

The war games come against a backdrop of rising international tension over Iran's nuclear programme, with the United States leading a drive for UN sanctions against Tehran over its failure to suspend uranium enrichment.

They also coincide with manoeuvres by a US-led naval force in the Gulf off Iran in a test of capabilities to halt trafficking in weapons of mass destruction, the first time such an excercise has been held in the area.

The head of the Iranian parliament's security commission, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, on Saturday lashed out at the US-led manoeuvres, which he said would increase tension in the region.

"The imperialist countries like the United States are here with bad intentions. They are unwanted guests whose presence is a source of instability and trouble in the region," he said according to the IRNA agency.
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