Iranian submarines participate in a naval parade on the last day of the Velayat-90 war game in the Sea of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran January 3, 2012.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Plans to curb Iran’s missile program by the United States have been foiled, a senior Iranian commander said Sunday shortly after the Islamic Republic launched a cruise missile from a submarine during large-scale naval drills.
“For several years we have been aware of this (the enemy’s plot), but we did not made it public,” commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force Brig.-Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh was quoted by Iran’s Tasnim News Agency as saying.
“They were trying to sabotage some of the equipment so that the missiles would explode in the air,” he said. “But so far, they have failed to do a d*** thing because we anticipated (their moves) and boosted (the missiles to thwart the moves).”
Hajizadeh’s comments came as Iran announced it had fired an anti-ship cruise missile from a submarine for the first time during an ongoing annual military drill from the Strait of Hormuz to the Gulf of Oman and northern parts of the Indian Ocean.
The large-scale maritime drill dubbed “Velayat-97” began on Thursday. According to the official news agency IRNA, “On the third day of the exercises, a Ghadir-class Iranian navy submarine successfully launched a cruise missile.”
Other Iranian submarines also took part in the drill, with the Tareq submarine firing an electric torpedo and the Qadir submarine firing a Valfajr torpedo. An Iranian navy drone was also used in the drill, intercepting and downing an enemy drone.
According to Iran’s Fars News Agency, a Naqdi destroyer and Tabarzin missile-launching frigate also fired two home-made Qader cruise missiles, which have a range of 250 km. at targets.
Iran has been working to upgrade its navy, with new vessels and submarines introduced to bolster the country’s aging fleet, and last week Iran’s navy announced that it had commissioned its first indigenously developed submarine capable of firing cruise missiles.
The Fateh-class submarine, which weighs 600 tons, is outfitted with a guided-missile system capable of launching submarine-launched cruise missiles as well as anti-ship missiles and torpedoes.
While Tehran has said that its missile program is defensive in nature and provides deterrent capabilities, Israel and the United States have repeatedly warned against Iran’s missile program, claiming that the missiles tested by Tehran are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
Nevertheless, on Saturday, deputy commander of the IRGC Brig.-Gen. Hossein Salami warned against launching strikes against Iran, a nation he claims “that cherishes martyrdom.”
“The whole world should know that when we talk about martyrdom it does not mean that we stand still so that the enemy attack us and kill us,” he was quoted by Tasnim as saying. “If the enemy opts for a war, we will become fully offensive.
The willingness for achieving martyrdom does not mean that only we will be killed; (rather) before we kill dozens of enemies, none of us will be martyred.”
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