Iran guards in war-games

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards launched war-games in central Iran and said they would test two models of home-made missiles, state radio reported.

The war-games come at a time of rising tension between the West and Iran. Western capitals say Tehran’s nuclear programme is aimed at producing nuclear weapons but Tehran adamantly denies this charge.

‘In the four-day long missile war-games in Garmsar area, the Zelzal-1 and Fajr-5 missiles will be tested,’ state radio quoted a Guards spokesman saying.

Garmsar is a small city located 100 km southeast of Tehran, adjacent to the unpopulated Garmsar desert.

The Guards have in the past demonstrated and test fired many Iranian-made missiles.

The report said Zelzal-1 had a range of more than 350 km and Fajr-5 could hit targets more than 70 km away but some military experts say the Zelzal-1 has a shorter range.

State radio said the Revolutionary Guards ground force units would start arming and firing the missiles later today.

Iran has staged several war-games in the past year, including firing some of its long-range Shahab-3 missiles, which Iran says have a range of 2,000 km, putting Israel or US bases in the Gulf in range.

The war-games have been seen by military experts as muscle flexing, aimed at showing off Iran’s capabilities in the face of pressure from the US.

The US said it wants a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff, but refused to rule out military action if diplomacy fails

Iranian war games last November when more Iranian manufactured missiles were fired.