Iran test fires 14 missiles capable of reaching Israeli, US targets
The missile launch kicked off 10 days of war games. Iran also unveiled underground ballistic missile silos that the West suspects are for launching nuclear warheads.
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The Afghan and Pakistani presidents, visiting Tehran, discussed with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "many issues… that might come up after the NATO military force goes out of Afghanistan," Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in an interview here Sunday.Skip to next paragraph
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"The three presidents were very forthcoming in carrying out the cooperation and contacts so as to make sure things will go as smoothly as it could," he said.
That was a jab at Washington, which is increasingly in competition with Tehran for influence in the region, particularly as popular rebellions have surged across the Middle East and North Africa since January.
Western news organizations have previously reported "sketchy evidence" of missile silos, which store missiles vertically so that they can be launched quickly toward predetermined targets and also protect the missiles from attack, according to The New York Times. Monday's unveiling bolsters those reports, the paper said.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday that by becoming more powerful and increasing its defense capabilities, Iran was improving the peace, security, and stability of the region, reports the Chinese news agency Xinhua.
In his weekly press briefing, Mehmanparast said that if the regional countries were powerful enough to defend themselves, the Zionist regime of Israel would never dare to attack and occupy their territory.
Now that the West is concerned about Iran's power to defend itself, it means that they cannot pursue their interests easily in the region, said the spokesman.
"The Americans have reduced our labors," Hajizadeh told Fars, according to Reuters. "Their military bases in the region are in a range of 130, 250 and maximum 700 km in Afghanistan which we can hit with these missiles."