12 Tamuz 5772
Iran plans war games as EU oil embargo begins
TEHRAN — As a European Union oil embargo took effect, a defiant Iran said Sunday that it was beginning a new round of war games that would involve firing missiles at models of foreign air bases.
The war games are an example of how Iranian leaders are projecting an image of strength at a time when the country's sanctions-battered economy is in a downward spiral. Iran also is facing the possibility of attack because of its nuclear program, and its major Arab ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad, is struggling to put down an armed rebellion.
During the war games, missiles will be fired from different points across the country at 100 designated targets, the semiofficial Mehr news agency quoted Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh as saying during a news conference. All the missiles are produced in Iran, said Hajizadeh, who heads the Republican Guard aerospace unit.
The three-day exercise, called the Great Prophet 7, is designed "to allow experts to assess the precision and efficiency of warheads and missile systems," the agency reported. Unmanned aircraft will also carry out operations during the maneuvers, the general said.
Iran plans to fire Shahab, Zelzal missiles during drill
Get ready: A day after the European Union's sanctions on Iran's oil went into effect, the Islamic Republic is launching the Great Prophet 7 missile drill.
Iran's state-run Fars news agency reported that the Revolutionary Guard has begun preparations and said that it would fire "dozens of ground missiles" over the next three days.
"Since Monday morning, missile units and bases have been getting ready to move to positions determined ahead of time," the report said. The exercise is taking place in the middle of the desert.
On Sunday, Tehran announced the exercise and added that soon it would introduce a missile capable of striking Israel's Iron Dome defense system.
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