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Tuesday, June 28, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Iran tests missiles with range 'designed' to target Israel, U.S. bases

NICOSIA — Iran has launched what was termed a major missile exercise.


[According to a report in the Israeli daily Haaretz, Iran's Revolutionary Guards tested 14 missiles on June 28, the second day of war games intended as 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 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.]

Officials said the Iranian military began its Great Prophet-6 exercise on June 27 in a demonstration of new ballistic missiles, Middle East Newsline reported. They said the exercise was being conducted by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, responsible for strategic military programs.

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"Short-, medium- and long-range missiles will be fired, especially the Khalij-Fars, Sejil, Fateh, Qiam, and Shihab-1 and -2 missiles," Gen. Hadjizadeh said.

On June 27, IRGC showed underground silos designed for intermediate-range missiles and blocked to Western satellites. Officials said a range of missiles have already been stored in the silos, capable of rapid launch toward Israel or other countries.

"Missiles, which are permanently in the vertical position, are ready to hit the predetermined targets," IRGC Col. Asghar Qelichkhani, a spokesman for the exercise, said.

Great Prophet has been deemed the leading annual exercise by IRGC. Over the last five years, IRGC has used the exercise to demonstrate its new weapons, particularly ballistic missiles, fast attack craft and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Hajizadeh, chief of IRGC's aerospace department, said Great Prophet was meant to respond to the growing U.S. military presence in the Gulf. He did not elaborate.

Officials said Great Prophet would last 10 days in the Gulf as well as in Iran. They said IRGC would test its new Qiam-1, identified as a surface-to-surface missile tested in August 2010, as well as UAVs and the Sejil solid-fuel intermediate-range missile.

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