Defiant Iran in missile exercise after US sanctions

Japan's H-IIA rocket carrying the Kirameki-2 satellite is launched from Tanegashima Space Centre in southern Tanegashima island, Kagoshima prefecture, on January 24, 2017. Iran is to deploy missiles for a Revolutionary Guards exercise Saturday. PHOTO | AFP via JIJI PRESS
Iran is to deploy missiles for a Revolutionary Guards exercise Saturday in a show of defiance a day after the United States imposed sanctions over a ballistic missile test launch last weekend.

The Guards’ Sepahnews website said the manoeuvres in the northeastern province of Semnan were aimed at demonstrating their “complete preparedness to deal with the threats” and “humiliating sanctions” from Washington.

“Different types of domestically produced radar and missile systems, command and control centres, and cyber warfare systems will be used in this exercise,” it said.

A list of the missiles to be deployed published later on the website showed they were of very short range — up to 75 kilometres.

US President Donald Trump imposed new sanctions on Iran on Friday over its test launch of a medium-range ballistic missile and its support for Yemeni rebels, who recently targeted a Saudi warship.

Hours later, US Defence Secretary James Mattis said that Iran was “the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world” but added that Washington had no plans to increase troop numbers in the Middle East in response.

The new sanctions do not yet mean that the US has abandoned commitments it made to lift measures aimed at Iran’s nuclear programme, officials said.

But Trump has made no secret of his contempt for that accord, which his predecessor Barack Obama approved in July 2015, and officials said Friday’s measures would not be the last.

Iran announced it would take “reciprocal action” against US individuals and companies.

“In response to the new move by the United States of America and as a reciprocal action, (Iran) will impose legal limitations for some American individuals and companies that have had a role in the creation and support of extreme terrorist groups in the region,” the foreign ministry said.

It said it would publish a list of names later.


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