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Iran stages anti-missile war games

TEHRAN, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Iranian military leaders said Monday they are conducting a series of missile defense tests and other armed forces exercises.

Brig. Gen. Ahmad Mighani told reporters all of the air-defense units of Iran's ground forces would be involved in the exercises, which will include launches of advanced missiles and other precision-guided weapons, RIA Novosti reported.

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"The drills are being conducted in more than a half of Iran's provinces," Mighani said. "Their main goal is to rehearse tactical operations with modern weapons and generally to upgrade the operational effectiveness of the country's armed forces."

The Russian news agency said the current war games are among several conducted by Iran this year and come after it took delivery of 29 Russian-made Tor-M1 air defense missile systems under a $700 million contract signed in late 2005.

Iranian leaders have promised significant retaliation against Israel and the United States if they attempt to destroy its nuclear enrichment facilities, which Iran says are for peaceful civilian power generation only.

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