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Iran test-fires newly-designed missile

Press TV - Iran has successfully test-fired a new domestically-designed and -manufactured missile in line with enhancing its combat capabilities.

The Samen missile was launched Monday during an Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) military drill in the border city of Marivan in the Western province of Kurdistan, Iran.

So far, no further details on Samen missiles have been disclosed.

The missile test comes shortly after a Nov. 3 ballistic missile test in the San Diego-based US Third Fleet, which according to the head of the US Missile Defense Agency was a test for the proposed-US missile shield.

Lieutenant General Henry Obering III said that along with missile interceptors based in Poland, the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) is intended for providing defense against Iranian missiles.

Iran says its ballistic missiles, such as the advanced Shahab-3 capable of hitting targets within a range of 2,000 kilometers, are intended for defensive purposes.

During the Monday maneuver, Iranian forces also put to the test IRGC's heavy and semi-heavy artillery and rocket launchers.

The Iranian Armed Forces have been holding military exercises on a regular basis after Israel conducted a massive air maneuver over the Eastern Mediterranean and Greece in early June, which according to Pentagon officials, appeared to be a 'dress rehearsal' for a potential bombing attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.

Israel, the sole possessor of a nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, accuses Iran - a signatory to the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) - of making efforts to develop a nuclear bomb.

Iran's advanced Shahab-3 missiles, equipped with a one-ton conventional warhead, are capable of hitting targets within a 2,000-kilometer range.

Tehran denies the Israeli claim, insisting that its enrichment program is solely directed at the civilian applications of the technology.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Friday that Tel Aviv is 'convinced that Iran continues to try to build a nuclear weapon'.

"We don't rule out any option. We recommend others don't rule out any option either," added Barak, in regards to US president-elect Barack Obama's plans to engage Iran with direct diplomacy.

Israel has long argued that the use of military force is a legitimate option in halting Iran's nuclear progress.

An unnamed senior European Union diplomat said last week that a possible Israeli strike against Iran 'is not completely off the radar'.

"Israelis would consider a move such as this before Bush and Cheney leave," said the EU diplomat, adding that once Obama takes office, Israel's chances of striking Iran would become meager.

Iran has warned that in case of coming under attack by either the US or Israel, it will target 32 American bases in the Middle East as well as the heart of Israel.

... Payvand News - 11/11/08 ... --

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