Iran test-fires ballistic missiles

Tehran: Iran test-fired on Tuesday several ballistic missiles in ongoing military drills attended by the senior commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.

The missile drills, conducted in different parts of the country, were aimed at enhancing Tehran's deterrent power in the face of threats against the revolution and the territorial integrity of Iran, official IRNA news agency reported.

On Tuesday, IRGC chief commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said Iran's ongoing missile drills are "firm responses to the nonsense babbled by the enemies about (possible) missile-related sanctions" against Iran.

"Firing of the missiles is an embodiment of the ready-to-operate status of Iran's missile depots in every part of the country," Jafari was quoted as saying by IRGC's website. "The drills also unfold this point to the enemies that the deterrent power and the national security of Iran is our red-line and we are not ready to negotiate over it with anybody," he said.

"Today, almost 100 percent of our (missile) products have been indigenised and we are independent," he said, adding that the western sanctions on Iran in the past years only resulted in the development and independency of the country in the field.

Jafari said the message of missile drills of Iran was "security" for the regional states and the security of Iran is tied with that of its neighbours. However, the enemies of Iran, particularly, Israel should be frightened of the "roar" of Tehran's missiles, he said, maintaining that "the range of most of our missiles could reach the Zionist regime" of Israel.

In October, Iran announced it "successfully" test-fired the country's first long-range missile of Emad which could be guided and controlled until hitting the target with high precision. In December, a UN experts' report said Iran violated the UN Security Council Resolution 1929 by test-firing the Emad missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.

The UN report said the Emad ballistic missile has a range of "no less than 1,000 km with a payload of at least 1,000 kg." Under Resolution 1929, Iran was prohibited from working on ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads.

However, Iran's Defence Minister Hossein Dehqan rejected the report, saying that the Emad missile was "totally conventional". Iran is believed to have the largest ballistic missile arsenal in the Middle East and has developed a 2,000-km missile.

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