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Iran Says to Launch Large Military Exercise
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The Iranian army said on Thursday that it would launch a large-scale military exercise soon, the state television reported.

The maneuver will begin in southeastern Iran on Saturday, military spokesman Gen. Mohammad Reza Ashtiani was quoted as saying.

"It will be carried out stage by stage for a period," he added, without revealing exactly when the exercise would end.

"The maneuver is aimed at introducing our new defensive doctrine," Ashtiani said, adding that 12 infantry regiments would participate in the upcoming exercise dubbed "The Blow of Zolfaghar."

Zolfaghar is the sword used by Imam Ali, one of the most revered figures for Shiite Muslims.
In addition, Ashtiani said that the maneuver came against a backdrop of tensions in the Mideast, saying "We must be ready to fight against any threat and we should be a role model for other countries."

"The army is prepared to destroy all plots against the Islamic Republic," he added.

In April, Iran launched another large-scale military exercise, the biggest in several years.
During the game, Iran said it had tested advanced weapons including missiles and torpedoes.
The new Iranian war game will come when Tehran is facing heightened pressure as a UN Security Council resolution urges it to halt uranium enrichment by Aug. 31.

(Xinhua News Agency August 18, 2006)

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