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Iranian officials highlight country's capabilities in defense, security
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08:37, February 04, 2009

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Iran's Secretary of the Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaie said Tuesday that his country is the first power in the region from the viewpoint of defense and security matters, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Iran "has achieved its independence through its capabilities and it is among the 10 world major countries regarding security and defense issues, Rezaie, the former chief commander of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was quoted as saying.

On Saturday, Iran's Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar also reiterated the country's capabilities and potentials in developing the high-tech defensive arsenal and gaining a considerable independence in manufacturing most of its military equipment.

"Iran successfully manufactured a smart 100mm anti-aircraft gun as part of a campaign to boost the country's defense capabilities," Najjar said, adding "one of the most important features of this weapon is its smart system which can track down the target and fire at it automatically."

The shells used in the system were equipped with a fuze which enables them to explode and terminate the target from a close distance even if they fail to hit it directly, according to the defense minister.

Iran's successive pretensions for defensive gains, war shows and missile-development claims come amid the tensions over its defiance concerning the halt of its nuclear program.

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.

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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