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Iran missile system tested, rhetoric sharpened on eve of NATO summit

Iran missile system: Iran tested a new air-defense system and lashed out at NATO as the military alliance prepared to meet this weekend in Lisbon, Portugal. Iran has long sought homegrown air defenses.

This photo, released by the Iranian army, claims to show the launching of a Shahin missile in armed forces war games, outside the city of Semnan, about 140 miles east of Tehran, Thursday, Nov. 18.

Iranian Army/AP Photo

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Iran tested a new air-defense system and stepped up its anti-West rhetoric Thursday on the eve of NATO's annual meeting in Lisbon. At the top of the military alliance's agenda are plans for a missile-defense network in Europeprimarily aimed at Iran’s growing ballistic missile capabilities – and the nine-year war in Afghanistan.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared that NATO had no future, likened the array of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program to be no more bothersome than a “mosquito,” and warned against “thinking as aggressors.”

“We regard NATO decisionmakers as politically backward, and their decisions are of no significance to us, because they are incapable of playing a role in future developments,” Mr. Ahmadinejad declared. “Experience shows that NATO leaders have had a wrong interpretation of international events and all their decisions are based on false information.”

Besides the rhetoric, which comes as Iran and world powers prepare to sit down Dec. 5 to discuss Iran’s nuclear programs, the Islamic Republic also this week launched a five-day air defense exercise to showcase home-grown capabilities.


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