War Games: Iran Test Fires Missiles in Persian Gulf, Hormouz
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Associated Press (AP)
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards test-fired nine long- and medium-range missiles Wednesday in war games officials say are in response to U.S. and Israeli threats, state television reported.
Gen. Hossein Salami, a top Guards commander, was quoted as saying the exercise "is to demonstrate our resolve and might against enemies who in recent weeks have threatened Iran with a harsh language." The drill was conducted in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormouz.
The report didn't provide details but said the missiles fired included a new version of the Shahab-3 missile, which officials have said has a range of 1,250 miles.
The report comes less than a day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he sees no possibility of a war with the United States or Israel.
"I assure you that there won't be any war in the future," Ahmadinejad told a news conference Tuesday during a visit to Malaysia for a summit of developing Muslim nations.
Iranian officials have been issuing a mix of conciliatory and bellicose statements in recent weeks about the possibility of a clash with the U.S. and Israel.
Israel's military sent warplanes over the eastern Mediterranean for a large military exercise in June that U.S. officials described as a possible rehearsal for a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, which the West fears are aimed at producing atomic weapons.
For months, Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials have said they don't believe the U.S. will attack because of its difficulties in Iraq, domestic worries and concerns over the fallout in the region. At the same time, Tehran has stepped up its warnings of retaliation if the Americans — or Israelis — do attack it, including threats to hit Israel and U.S. Gulf bases with missiles and stop oil traffic through the vital Gulf region.