Anti-missile defenses tested to protect “sensitive” sites: Iran

The Iranian military said on Wednesday it had successfully tested anti-missile defenses for “sensitive” sites during war games in central Iran, after Israeli and US warnings about its nuclear program.

“The country’s air defenses are perfectly prepared to protect sensitive and vital installations with a multi-layered defense system,” said General Amir-Qader Rahimzadeh, commander of Hazrat Khatam al-Anbiya air base in Semnan, quoted by the Fars news agency.

The exercises, which began on Tuesday, combined the army’s “Majid” defense system with the “Dezful” system of the Revolutionary Guard’s Elite Corps to destroy incoming cruise missiles.

The central region of Iran is home to the Natanz enrichment plant and other nuclear sites.

The war games there preceded a visit to Iran on Thursday by a European Union envoy coordinating talks on reviving a troubled nuclear deal between Tehran and the major powers, including the United States.

“Strong, multi-layered defense against cruise missile attacks was one of the objectives of the successful joint air defense exercises,” Rahimzadeh said.

State news agency IRNA said radar and electronic surveillance systems had also been deployed in operations.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly last month that his country “will not allow” Tehran to develop a nuclear weapon.

Washington has also pledged to ensure that “Iran never develops” a nuclear bomb, US President Joe Biden said in August, adding that he “puts diplomacy first”.

Biden and Bennett were both hinting at the possible use of military means, tweeted Ali Shamhkani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.

Tehran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

EU envoy Enrique Mora will visit Iran under increasing pressure from European countries, as well as from the Biden administration, for a swift resumption of negotiations on a US return to the 2015 nuclear deal.

He gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program, but has been on life support since 2018, when US President Donald Trump then unilaterally withdrew and reimposed crippling sanctions.

Iran has repeatedly stated that it is ready to resume talks “soon”.

sk-str / hc / it

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