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Iran's Basij troops stage defense drills
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09:04, November 25, 2008

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Iran's Basij (volunteer) troops organized civil defense drills on Sunday to prepare for any hostile air strikes, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Monday.

Hundreds of schools across the country participated in the exercise and simulated "transporting wounded people and putting out fires after a fictitious bombardment by enemy planes," the report said.

Local television showed pictures of ambulances with sirens wailing rushing to the scene of a simulated attack and people lying on the ground with bloodied faces.

Earlier, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayari said foreign forces in the region were being closely watched and Iran would not allow any foreign ship to enter its waters.

"We are capable of closing the Strait of Hormuz," he told the official news agency.

Rasoul Sanairad, a senior Basij political officer, said the strait provided "an exceptional opportunity" for defending the nation, Iran's Fars News Agency reported.

However, Israeli Air Force (IAF) Commander General Ido Nehushtan claimed in his recent interview that his forces are ready to follow any order to thwart Iran's nuclear programs, the local Iran's satellite Press TV reported.

"The IAF is a very robust and flexible force...ready to do whatever is demanded," the Nehushtan told German magazine Der Spiegel.

The United States and Israel have consistently refused to rule out the possibility of military strikes against Iran over its refusal to halt its nuclear program.

Iranian military commanders, on the other hand, have repeatedly warned, with aggressive rhetoric, the U.S., Israeli and their assistants in the potential war and have warned them of the bitter consequences of any aggression onto the country's interests.

The United States and its allies have accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program.

Iran has denied the U.S. charges and insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.


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