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Iran plans to lead in defense technologies


13:30, August 17, 2011

TEHRAN, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said Iran plans to be among the five top countries which possess the most advanced defense technologies, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported Tuesday.

Iran has made great progress in the area of defense over the past few years, thanks to the participation of the private sector, Vahidi said, adding that the defense ministry in cooperation with the private sector will continue to make progress in the future.

"Today, participating in promoting the defensive capability to counter threats and dispel dangers is a national and religious duty," he was quoted as saying.

Brigadier General Mahmoud Sajedifar of the Defense Ministry also said Tuesday that new defensive projects will start on Aug. 22, the Defense Industry Day, according to Mehr.

Iran could only manufacture small arms before the Islamic Revolution and only the United States provided maintenance services for Iran's military equipment, Sajedifar was quoted as saying.

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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