TEHRAN, March 6 (UPI) -- Iran said Tuesday it was holding new air defense exercises to prepare for a possible air attack on its nuclear facilities at Isfahan.
The announcement, which was carried by Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency and reported by the RIA Novosti news agency, came as tensions remained high between the United States and Iran over Tehran's refusal to halt its nuclear development program in accord with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1737, which was passed Dec. 23.
IRNA said the exercise was being held specifically to defend against the possibility of air attacks on the uranium ore conversion center at Isfahan.
"The nuclear center dealing with uranium ore conversion in Isfahan has an area of 120,000 square meters (360,000 square feet). Uranium ore is processed into a gaseous hexafluoride of uranium, which is then fed into a centrifuge cascade for enrichment," RIA Novosti said.
"Uranium enrichment using centrifuges is conducted at a plant in Natanz," the Russian news agency said.
The announcement of the exercise came some weeks after Russia announced the completion of its delivery to Iran of its modern Tor-M1 anti-aircraft missile defense system. The sale angered the U.S. government but Russia defended it as being that of a defensive weapons system.
Ali Larijani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, stated Tuesday that any military operation against Iran would fail, RIA Novosti reported.
"Any military actions against Iran will not only be ineffective, but would make the Iranian nation even more resolute," Larijani said.
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