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Iran launches war games to protect nuclear sites

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Irans armed forces launched large-scale air defense war games on Sunday to show off the countrys deterrence capabilities in the face of pressure from the West over its nuclear program.The display of military muscle comes at a time of rising tension between Iran and six major powers, which fear Tehrans nuclear program is aimed at producing nuclear weapons. Tehran denies this is the programs purpose.

Irans elite Revolutionary Guards and military forces jointly started five days of maneuvers in various parts of the Islamic state, Brigadier General Ahmad Mighani said, according to state television.

It is the biggest war game, which takes place over an area 600,000 sq km (230,000 sq miles). The aim of this war game

is to promote military power of the armed forces against any attack, the television quoted Mighani as saying.

The United States and Israel, which Iran does not recognize, say they want a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff, but refuse to rule out military action if diplomacy fails.

Iran has warned of a crushing response to any military action against its nuclear facilities.

The aim of the drill is to display Irans combat readiness and military potentials, Mighani said.

Defense policies, psychological operations and innovations during the war game are among the objectives of the drill.

Iran has staged several war games in the past, including firing long-range Shahab-3 missiles, which it says have a range of 2,000 km (1,250 miles), putting Israel or U.S. bases in the Gulf in range.

http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE5AK0FZ20091122?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FtopNews+%28News+%2F+US+%2F+Top+News%29

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