'Iran’s missile power ranks first in Mideast'
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'Iran’s missile power ranks first in Mideast'

“Today, we rank first in the missile technology at the regional level and are placed among the few global powers in this regard,” Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Aerospace Division of the IRGC, said on Sunday. The senior Iranian military official said the same ranking applies to the country’s status in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles. Hajizadeh went on to say that the recent downing of an intruding high-tech US spy drone was indicative of Iran’s counteroffensive prowess and proved its capability of constructing radar and rocket defense systems. Drawing an analogy between boosting the country's deterrence power and maintaining balance while cycling, Hajizadeh emphasized, “We shall stall and lag behind the enemy should we stop pedaling. Therefore, we need to go ahead with our deterrent activities in a round-the-clock manner and also make every effort in boost [our military] capabilities.” Iranian authorities have repeatedly said that the country’s missile program has not been established for non-conventional purposes and is only meant as part of the country’s deterrence capability. In late July, Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said Iranian Armed Forces carry out their activities, including missile tests, according to plan and “on a regular basis.” “If certain parties do some kind of media maneuver [to portray things otherwise], it is because they are pursuing specific objectives of their own. Our Armed Forces, though, carry out their activities, including missile tests, entirely regularly,” the Iranian defense minister said. Earlier in June, Major General Hossein Salami, the chief commander of the IRGC said Iran had managed to change the balance of power in its favor by harnessing the technology required for manufacturing ballistic missiles. Salami said the Islamic Republic acquired the knowhow 12 years ago while trying to prepare its defenses against the United States’ aircraft carriers.

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