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Iran tests new air defense system in 'slap' to U.S., Israel

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 06:13 a.m. HST, Nov 13, 2012

TEHRAN, Iran >> Iran said today it successfully tested a new air defense system modeled after the U.S. Hawk system during a drill in the country's east. A senior Iranian official called the maneuvers a "slap" to America and Israel.

State TV broadcast footage today said to be from the drill, which began Saturday and which has been billed as "massive." The footage shows a Hawk missile being launched and hitting a mock aircraft.

Earlier reports said the new surface-to-air system is named "Mersad," or Ambush. It is capable of locking a flying object at a distance o 50 miles and can hit from 30 miles away, state TV said.

According to the reports, the Iranian military is expected to test anti-aircraft batteries and other air defense systems as part of the drill.

"This military exercise is a message and a strong slap to those countries that threaten," said air defense chief Gen. Farzad Esmaili, referring to the United States and Israel. "And a message of peace and friendship to friendly countries."

Both Israel and the U.S. have not ruled out a military option against Iran's suspect nuclear program, which the West fears intends to produce an atomic weapon. Iran denies the charge, saying its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

The test came during a six-day air defense drill under way over almost the entire eastern half of the country. The exercise has been said to include Iranian jet fighters, drones and more than 8,000 troops.

Iran regularly holds military exercises aimed at boosting its defense capabilities. It also occasionally announces additions to its arsenal, holds inauguration ceremonies, starts up new production lines and test-fires new missiles. The purported military advancements are impossible to independently verify.

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thebostitch wrote:
Knowing now that we'll have the Wimp President for an other 4 years, of course Iran can do anything it wants; we are not going to stop them!
on November 13,2012 | 07:09AM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Maybe he can go over there and bow to them to keep us safe.
on November 13,2012 | 07:20AM
burymeagain wrote:
I bow to you to keep you safe .....
on November 13,2012 | 11:19AM
swimmy808 wrote:
I am so happy to hear you are willing to start another war, something our country cannot afford. will you be volunteering to be sent overseas to fight this war or are you one of those people willing to send others to fight for your. In my honest opinion violence should be of last resort, do you know how much money and labor goes into making a war, the cost of lives on both sides? its no game, were we can respawn if we die, exploring all possible solutions is way better than accepting war as the primary solution to everything. Also in addition, the president does NOT have absolute power in the country, theres a thing called checks and balances, meaning the president cannot do what ever as he pleases, the president is as only good as the the senate and house of representatives that are under him and if the republicans and democrats cant play nice, then maybe should get out the game .
on November 13,2012 | 09:21AM
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