Iran Fires 14 Test Missiles to Show It Is Prepared to Strike Israel and U.S. Interests in the Event of Any AttackThe City Council of Tehran has announced that a street in the Iranian capital will be named after the American activist, Rachel Corrie, from Olympia, Washington, who is viewed by many as an epitome of resistance against Israel. According to the proposal, the 27th street of Tehran's municipal District Six will be named after the 23-year-old American activist and a member of the International Solidarity Movement who was crushed to death in the Gaza Strip by an Israeli bulldozer on March 16, 2003, when she intervened to prevent a Palestinian home from demolition. The Israeli Army claimed her death was due to the bulldozer driver's restricted angle of view. Eyewitnesses, however, say there was nothing to obscure the driver's view. - Iran to name street after Rachel Corrie, Press TV, August 10, 2011
June 28, 2011
Iran's Revolutionary Guards tested 14 missiles on Tuesday, the second day of war games intended a show of strength to the Islamic Republic's enemies in Israel and Washington.
The Iranian-made surface-to-surface missiles, with a maximum range of 2,000 km (1,250 miles), were fired simultaneously at a single target, the official IRNA news agency reported.
The head of the Revolutionary Guards' aerospace division emphasized Iran's preparedness to strike Israel and US interests in the event of any attack on Iran.
"The range of our missiles has been designed based on American bases in the region as well as the Zionist regime," Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh told the semi-official Fars news agency.Washington and Israel have said they do not rule out military strikes on Iran if diplomatic means fail to stop it developing nuclear weapons. Tehran denies its nuclear program is aimed at building bombs.
IRNA said the Guards fired nine Zelzal missiles, two Shahab-1s, two Shahab-2s and one upgraded Shahab-3 missile. Iranian officials have previously announced that the Shahab 3 can reach targets up to 2,000 km away, putting Israel and US bases in the Gulf within reach.
A long-time enemy of the United States, Iran has been emboldened by what it sees as US military defeats in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan. Both countries are still home to large troop numbers and Washington has other bases in the Gulf that Iran could choose to target.
"The Americans have reduced our labors," Hajizadeh told Fars. "Their military bases in the region are in a range of 130, 250 and maximum 700 km in Afghanistan which we can hit with these missiles."The 'Great Prophet 6' war games, to be carried out on land and sea, are a "message of peace and friendship to countries of the region," Hajizadeh said on Monday.
Asked whether Iranian missiles were a threat to Europe, Hajizadeh told IRNA that while Iran had the technological capacity to build longer-range missiles, the 2,000-km range had been chosen precisely with Israel and US bases in mind.
"Except American and the Zionist regime, we do not feel a threat from any other country," he said.Revolutionary Guard to test arsenal, including Sajjil missile, with range of 2,000 km, which would allow it to strike targets as far away as Israel.
June 27, 2011
Iran's Revolutionary Guard was scheduled to launch a large-scale military exercise entitled the "Great Prophet Mohammad War Games 6" on Monday, Iranian news agency IRNA reported.
Revolutionary Guard Brig-Gen Amir Ali Hajizadeh said that the purpose of the drill was to test the IRGC forces defensive preparedness as well as to practice the use of advanced equipment.
Hajizadeh added that Iran's arsenal of missiles, including the country's long range missiles, would be tested during the exercise. Among Iran's arsenal of missiles is the Sajjil, with a range of nearly 2,000 km, which would allow it to strike targets as far away as Israel or southeast Europe.
The Iranian military official emphasized that the purpose of the maneuver was not to threaten Iran's neighbors, but rather to ensure the Islamic Republic's defensive capabilities.
Earlier this month, the United States slapped sanctions on the Revolutionary Guard for its part in human rights abuses within Iran.
“The United States stands with all Iranians who wish for a government that respects their human rights, their dignity and their freedom, and we call on the Iranian government to end its systematic human rights abuses and political hypocrisy,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in announcing the sanctions.Last week, the European Union sanctioned three commanders of the Revolutionary Guard accused of supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad's suppression of dissent.
The Iranians were Major-General Qasem Soleimani and Brigadier Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari of the Revolutionary Gaurd, and the Guard's deputy commander for intelligence, Hossein Taeb.
Iran is at loggerheads with major powers over its nuclear work, which it says is peaceful and intended solely for generating electricity but which Washington and its allies fear is aimed at making nuclear bombs.
Israel sees the potential of a nuclear armed Iran -- which refuses to recognize the Jewish state and supports Hamas and Hezbollah -- as a major threat and both it and its ally Washington do not rule out military action to prevent such a scenario.
Iran has said it would respond to any attack by targeting US interests and Israel.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rails against American military force in Middle East
June 25, 2011
Iran's supreme leader on Saturday accused the United States of supporting terrorism, pointing to American drone strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan that he said have killed scores of civilians.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said a country whose military forces are responsible for such deaths can't lecture the world about fighting terror.
Strong anti-U.S. salvos are heard regularly from Iran's leadership. Saturday's statement by Khamenei revealed the differences between Iran and the U.S. on the issue of who is a terrorist and who is a freedom fighter.
"The U.S. and the European governments that follow it describe Palestinian combatant groups who fight for the liberation of their land as terrorists," Khamenei said in a written message to an international conference on combating terrorism that opened Saturday in Tehran.
At the same time, Khamenei said, Israeli military strikes that hit civilians or assassinations of Palestinians by Israeli security agents are not condemned by the West as acts of terrorism.
Iranian leaders say Palestinian groups and the Lebanese Hezbollah are fighting to liberate occupied lands. Iran openly praises groups such as Islamic Jihad and Hamas, which have claimed responsibility for suicide bombings and other attacks.
Khamenei said Iran was a victim of what he called U.S. "terrorism" for the 1988 downing of an Iranian passenger plane by the warship USS Vincennes, which killed all 290 people aboard. The U.S. Defense Department said at the time that the crew mistook the plane for a hostile aircraft, which Iran rejects.
Later Saturday, Khamenei warned visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai that the United States is seeking to set up permanent bases in Afghanistan.
"Americans are after setting up permanent bases in Afghanistan. This is a dangerous issue. As long as American troops are based in Afghanistan, there will be no real security," state TV quoted Khamenei as saying.
The United States has said it will have all its fighting forces out of Afghanistan by 2014 and that the security of Afghanistan will be turned over to Afghan forces. The U.S. has not asked for any bases or centers to remain under its control.