Saturday, 9 July 2011

Iranian Long Range Missiles Now Hit Targets In Indian Ocean

A senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced the successful test-firing of Iran's long-range missiles, saying that the IRGC has succeeded in targeting vessels in the Indian Ocean from a location in Iran's Northern province of Semnan.

Speaking to reporters, Commander of the IRGC's Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said that the test of long-range missiles was conducted in February.

"In Bahman of the last (Iranian) year (January 21- February 20) two IRGC long-range missiles with a range of 1,900km were fired from a region in Semnan province at specified targets in the entrance of the Indian Ocean," Hajizadeh announced.

The commander said that the test was conducted at a time when American forces were also present in the region, and added, "Of course, we had declared that we were having drills in the area and we had closed that specific.

"We even allowed the US spy planes to be present in the region, although they never made an announcement about this issue," he continued.

Following the recent exercises, IRGC Commander Major General Ali Jafari said that his forces demonstrated just part of their capabilities during the military drills.

"Firing missiles from underground silos, hiding the missiles from the enemy, scattering missile stocks and using the element of surprise against the enemy… are issues that have been important for us and we have been working on them for several years… and a part of these capabilities were shown in the Great Messenger drills," Jafari stated on Monday.

Jafari said increasing the capabilities of the Armed Forces has strengthened Iran's deterrent power because of which the enemy was not able to carry out its threats over the past 2-3 years.

The Iranian commander added that Iran would not confine itself to blocking the Strait of Hormuz if any act of aggression was committed against the country.

The Iranian commander said Iran is after plans to fully exploit its defensive potential in the high seas, and added, "… if the enemy attempts to threaten Iran outside the Strait of Hormuz, the country has the power to retaliate and this strategy is currently on our agenda".

ran usually tests its missiles in extensive deserts in the heart of the country, so the firing into the Indian Ocean is an unusual move, aimed to prove Tehran’s longstanding claims it can hit targets beyond its borders.

Television showed a missile being fired but the announcer did not specify if the pictures were of the Indian Ocean test-firing. No pictures were shown of a target being hit at sea.

The announcement came after a 10-day military exercise by the elite Guards that was designed to deter Iran’s enemies by showing Iran is ready and able to hit back at US bases in the Middle East and at Israel.The United States and Israel have not ruled out military strikes on Iran if necessary to stop it getting nuclear weapons.

Iran says it has home-made missiles with a range of 2,000 km, designed specifically to hit US interests and Israel. But it denies it is seeking nuclear bombs and the means to deliver them.