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Iran to practice ballistic missile launches during maneuvers

15:15 01/11/2006
TEHRAN, November 1 (RIA Novosti) - Iran's army will conduct practice launches of long-range ballistic missiles during large-scale military exercises starting Thursday, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said Wednesday.

General Yahya Rahim-Safavi said the exercises will take place November 2-12 in southern Iran, and involve units of ground forces, the air force, the navy, and Basij (militia) forces.

In particular, Iran will launch its Shahab-2 and Shahab-3 ballistic missiles, the commander said.

The Shahab-2 is an advanced version of Russia's Scud-C missile, with a range of up to 700 kilometers (about 430 miles), capable of carrying a 700-kilogram (1,500 lb) warhead.

The Shahab-3 is a modernized version of North Korea's No-Dong ballistic missile, and reportedly has a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (about 950 miles). It can carry a 1,000- kilogram (2,200 lb) payload.

Iran is believed to possess one of the largest ballistic missile forces in the developing world, and is reportedly running an ambitious missile development program. Many countries also suspect it of developing nuclear weapons, through its uranium enrichment program.

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RIA NovostiIran to practice ballistic missile launches during maneuvers

15:15 01/11/2006 Iran's army will conduct practice launches of long-range ballistic missiles during large-scale military exercises starting Thursday, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said Wednesday. >>

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