Iran lobs missiles in day 2 of 'Great Prophet' drill

IRGC fires at targets replicating US bases; Former US secretary of state Baker says strike on Iran not in US, Israeli interest.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
July 3, 2012 09:47
1 minute read.
Iranian Shahab 2 missile bearing crest of IRGC

Iranian Shahab 2 missile bearing crest of IRGC 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)

 
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Iran on Tuesday successfully tested dozens of short-, medium- and long-range missiles on the second of a three-day military exercise, Iranian media reported.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard fired mainly domestically-produced missiles, including three types of Shahab missiles, as well as Fatehs, Qiyams and Zelzals. The missiles targeted replicas of air bases owned by "trans-regional powers," according to Iranian media. Iran's semi-official Fars news agency specified that the bases were modeled after those of the US.

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Former US secretary of state James Baker said that it is not in the United States' or Israel's interest to attack Iran over its nuclear program.

Speaking to Army Radio on Tuesday, Baker said, "I don't think that it would be in the best interest -- certainly not of the United States and perhaps not of Israel" to attack Iran's nuclear facilities.

But at the end of the day, he added, "We cannot allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon."

On Sunday, Revolutionary Guards General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said the exercise, termed Great Prophet 7, should be seen as a message "that the Islamic Republic of Iran is resolute in standing up to... bullying, and will respond to any possible evil decisively and strongly."

Any attack on Iran by Israel would be answered resolutely: "If they take any action, they will hand us an excuse to wipe them off the face of the earth," said Hajizadeh, head of the Guards' airborne division, according to state news agency IRNA.

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The threat against the Jewish state echoed words Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke in 2005, saying Israel "must be wiped off the page of time" - a phrase often translated as "wiped off the map" and cited by Israel to show how allowing Iran to get nuclear arms would be a threat to its existence.

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Hajizadeh also said that Iran's ability to strike US bases in the Gulf protects Iran from US support for Israel.

"US bases in the region are within range of our missiles and weapons, and therefore they certainly will not cooperate with the regime (Israel)," he told IRNA.

Reuters contributed to this report

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