As international tensions continue to rise over Iran's nuclear ambitions, the Iranian regime has tested new military weaponry in the third day of war games in the Persian Gulf.
The games, called Great Prophet Two, are to run for 10 days. Iranian officials say they are intended to display Iran's defense capabilities and achievements in its missile industry. The regime has already tested naval missiles with a range of about 170 kilometers, giving them capability to hit vessels in the Gulf.
Saturday, the Iranian military said it successfully tested new armor-piercing weaponry and an anti-helicopter missile system.
The military exercises come as the U.N. Security Council is considering imposing sanctions on Tehran, because it has refused demands to stop enriching uranium, a process that can produce fuel for nuclear reactors or material for atomic bombs.
The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council are considering a draft resolution put forward by France, Germany and Britain. The draft orders all countries to ban the supply of material and technology that could contribute to Iran's nuclear and missile programs. It also imposes a travel ban and asset freeze on companies, individuals and organizations involved in those programs.
But Russia and China have been reluctant to support tough sanctions, and, on Friday, Russia proposed major changes to the European draft.
On Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters that, any measures the Security Council decides to impose against Iran should be for a limited time only, with a clearly detailed mechanism for lifting them.
"We do not disagree with the need to continue to influence the Iranians, but only with the purpose to impress upon them the need to come back to the negotiating table, but for this to happen, all parties must show realism," he said.
Meanwhile, in Tehran, thousands of demonstrators marked the 27th anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy, when militant students stormed the building, taking 54 Americans hostage for 444 days.
Parliament speaker Gholam Ali Hadad Adel told demonstrators Saturday that "threats and sanctions would have no influence on the Iranian nation's will." He warned that Iran would react to any measures aimed at harming its integrity or preventing it from its right to benefit from peaceful nuclear energy.
Iran denies that it is seeking atomic weapons, saying its ambitions are to produce nuclear power for civilian purposes such as electricity.
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