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Iran Test-fires New Torpedo in Gulf War Game
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Iran has test-fired a new torpedo successfully in the ongoing war game in the Gulf, the state television reported Monday.

The new ship-launched torpedo is capable of destroying any vessel on and under the surface of water in any depth, said the report, terming it as "the most dangerous naval weapon."

Monday's torpedo test was conducted during the week-long military drill in the Gulf which started on March 31 and will last till April 6.

Rear Admiral Mohammad Ebrahim Dehqani, spokesman for the maneuver, told the state television that the newly test-fired torpedo had been developed fully domestically and Iran was able to mass-produce it.

Meanwhile, Dehqani was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying that any attack against Iran's interests in the Persian Gulf region would be "strongly responded by surface, under-surface and air defense units and from Iranian islands and coastal regions."

He said that one of objectives of the war game was to send message of peace and amity to Gulf states.

The ongoing military maneuver involves over 17,000 soldiers and 1,500 naval vessels of various types and sizes, Iran's military officials said.

The torpedo test was the latest weapon show within just a few days in the large-scale military maneuver.

Last Friday, the Islamic Republic, which is facing heavy pressure from the West on its nuclear program, successfully test-fired a missile with radar-dodging and multi-targeting capabilities.

On Sunday, Iran successfully test-fired an underwater missile with a speed of 360 km per hour, which the Iranians said was the fastest of its kind in the world.

Ali Fadavi, deputy navy commander of Iran's elite militia --the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, said no warship could escape from the attack of the missile due to its speed.

Iran's ongoing military maneuver came as the country's nuclear issue is pending further measures to be adopted by the UN Security Council after the International Atomic Energy Agency handed Iran'snuclear file to the Security Council on March 8.  

Tehran has been pursuing a firm stance over its nuclear issue, saying it would never give in to pressure and bully.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday that the Iranian nation would "exercise its determination to produce nuclear energy it needs for economic development."

The United States and Israel have threatened to launch preemptive attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities.

In response, Iran says it will counter-attack any invasion and it is capable of defending the country with its "deterrent power" in the Middle East.

In February 2005, Iran launched a production line of torpedoes, which, according to then Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani, marked completion of "the Islamic Republic's defensive cycle at sea."  

(Xinhua News Agency April 4, 2006)

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