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Iran will fire 'roaring missiles' if threatened, military commander warns

A ballistic missile is launched and tested in an undisclosed location, Iran, in this March 9, 2016 file photo. (REUTERS)

DUBAI: An Iranian military commander said on Saturday that his country would use its missiles against its enemies if they threaten the country’s security.
"If the enemy does not walk the line, our missiles come down on them," Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace unit, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.
“We are working day and night to protect Iran’s security. If we see smallest misstep from the enemies, our roaring missiles will fall on their heads,” Hajizadeh was also quoted in another report by Tasnim news agency.
Hajizadeh's comments come during a military exercise by the Revolutionary Guard aimed at testing its missile and radar systems.
The exercise comes a day after US President Donald Trump's administration imposed sanctions on Iran for a recent missile test.
The United States sanctioned 13 individuals and 12 entities related to Iran’s missile program and Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn said the United States was putting Iran on notice over its “destabilizing activity.”
The Guards’ Sepahnews website said the maneuvers in the northeastern province of Semnan were aimed at demonstrating their “complete preparedness to deal with the threats” and “humiliating sanctions” from Washington.
“Different types of domestically produced radar and missile systems, command and control centers, and cyber warfare systems will be used in this exercise,” it said.
A list of the missiles to be deployed published later on the website showed they were of very short range — up to 75 kilometers (47 miles).
Although tensions between Washington and Iran have risen, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Saturday he was not considering raising the number of US forces in the Middle East to address Iran’s “misbehavior” at this time, but warned that the world would not ignore Iranian activities.
Iran has one of the Middle East’s largest missile programs and held a similar exercise in December to showcase its defense systems, including radars, anti-missile defense units, and short and medium-range missiles.
Tehran confirmed on Wednesday that it had test-fired a new ballistic missile, but said the test did not breach the Islamic Republic’s nuclear agreement with world powers or a UN Security Council resolution endorsing the pact.
Iran has test-fired several ballistic missiles since the nuclear deal in 2015, but the latest test was the first since Trump entered the White House. Trump said during his election campaign that he would stop Iran’s missile program.
The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting on Tuesday and recommended the missile testing be studied at committee level. The new US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, called the test “unacceptable.”
The Security Council resolution was adopted to buttress the deal under which Iran curbed its nuclear activities to allay concerns they could be used to develop atomic bombs, in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
The resolution urged Tehran to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons. Critics say the resolution’s language does not make this obligatory.
Tehran says it has not carried out any work on missiles specifically designed to carry nuclear payloads.

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