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MIDEAST > Iran says can destroy US bases in region

TEHRAN / BAKU

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An Iranian short-range missile (Fateh) launched during the second day of military exercises. A top Iranian military commander says Israel are good targets for them. AFP photo

An Iranian short-range missile (Fateh) launched during the second day of military exercises. A top Iranian military commander says Israel are good targets for them. AFP photo

Iran has threatened to destroy U.S. military bases across the Middle East and target Israel within minutes of being attacked, Iranian media reported yesterday, as Revolutionary Guards extended testfiring of ballistic missiles into a third day.

“These bases are all in range of our missiles, and the occupied lands (Israel) are also good targets for us,” Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace division, was quoted by Fars news agency as saying.

Hajizadeh said 35 U.S. bases were within reach of Iran’s ballistic missiles, the most advanced of which commanders have said could hit targets 2,000 kilom away. “We have thought of measures to set up bases and deploy missiles to destroy all these bases in the early minutes after an attack,” he added. It was not clear where Hajizadeh got his figures on U.S. bases in the region. U.S. military facilities in the Middle East are located in Turkey, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, and it has around 10 bases further afield in Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Journalist charged over spying

In a separate development, Azerbaijan has charged a newspaper editor and rights activist with treason for working for neighbor Iran’s spy services, officials said yesterday, as tensions with the Islamic republic simmer.

The interior ministry said Hilal Mamedov, editor of “Talyshi Sado” (Voice of the Talysh), a newspaper for the country’s Talysh ethnic minority, was using journalism as a cover to “secretly cooperate with the Iranian secret services.” The ministry said that Mamedov had worked for Iranian intelligence since 1992 and had supplied “materials to be used against Azerbaijan” when instructed. If convicted of treason, the journalist could face life imprisonment.

July/05/2012

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