As the EU's oil sanctions against Iran take effect, the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guards announced Sunday that they will hold a three-day surface-to-surface missile exercise, targeting bases modeled after those of foreign armies.
The IRNA agency said Sunday the maneuvers, dubbed "Great Profit 7," would begin Monday in Iran's central desert and last three days.
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The report quoted Gen. Ami Ali Hajizadeh, chief of the Revolutionary Guards' airspace unit, as saying that the maneuver is aimed at assessing the accuracy and effectiveness of warheads and systems.
Hajizadeh added that Iran will soon introduce a new missile that can also penetrate the Iron Dome missile defense system, threatening that if Israel plans any attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, "They will provide us a reason to remove Israel from the earth."
He said Israel is not capable of attacking Iran "since it was defeated by Hezbollah" in 2006.
Missile drill in Iran (Archives photo: EPA)
However, in a conflicting report, Fars new agency quoted Hajizadeh as saying that the range of the new missile is only 300 kilometers.
Iran has reportedly a few hundred surface-to-surface missiles with a range of approximately 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles), which can reach Israel, southern Europe and other states in the Persian Gulf, where US maintains military bases.
The announcement coincides with the beginning of a European Union oil embargo meant to pressure Iran over its nuclear program. Iran denies Western suspicions that it wants to build nuclear weapons.
The announcement came after US Army General Martin Dempsey said Friday that the United States and Israel are expected to hold a joint military exercise sometime around October or November, after postponing it earlier this year.
In response to the oil embargo, Iranian Central Bank governor Mahmoud Bahmani told Mehr news agency that his country has "plans" to deal with the embargo, and warned that Tehran will confront hostile policies against it. According to Bahmani, Iran has enough hard currency to meet its import needs.
Reuters, AP contributed to this report.
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