Thursday, February 4, 2010

Iran Boasts of Military Might

TEHRAN, Feb 4: A senior Iranian military official told Gulf states on Thursday not to squander money on US missiles, saying that Iran could render them useless, the state news agency Irna reported.

Tehran on Wednesday slammed plans by the United States to beef up defence in the Gulf against potential Iranian missile attacks, with the Islamic republic insisting it posed no threat to its neighbours.

“Installing anti-missile Patriot missiles is a new trick to empty the pockets of rich Persian Gulf countries,” said General Hassan Firuzabadi, the joint chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces.

“Patriot missiles can be rendered ineffective by simple tactics, and I advise the regional countries, especially Islamic states, not to waste their money on these missiles which have not worked anywhere,” he said.

US President Barack Obama’s administration is reportedly placing ships with missile-targeting capabilities off Iran’s coast, and anti-missile systems in at least four Gulf states — Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Bahrain acknowledged on Wednesday that Gulf defence capabilities were being upgraded but urged Iran not to see them as plans for attack.

The moves come as Iran remains locked in a standoff with the West over its nuclear programme, which many world powers believe is masking a weapons drive.

Iran has vehemently denied this. Iran has carried out frequent war games in the Gulf and paraded an array of home-grown missiles over the past years.

An Iranian Revolutionary Guards official also said on Wednesday that Iran had developed anti-armour weapons which could combat US Apache helicopters and armoured tanks.

“The enemy should not think their Apache helicopters can have the same power that they have in Iraq and Afghanistan in Iran,” Naser Arab-beigi, who heads the self-sufficiency organisation of the Revolutionary Guards, told Fars news agency.—AFP

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