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Iran Begins Producing Missile-Carrying Speedboats

Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Iran announced it has begun producing two types of missile-equipped speedboat, a day after the country unveiled a long-range drone that can carry bombs.

“Enemies should be careful not to play with fire,” Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on state television today at the opening ceremony for the vessels’ production lines. “If they attack Iran our response will not be limited to one region and will be unpredictable.”

The Seraj-1 is a rapid-assault vessel that can operate in stormy weather, while the Zolfaqar can travel at 82 miles per hour and is equipped with the Nasr missile to strike enemy ships, Vahidi said, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency. Both speedboats will “significantly boost the Iranian navy’s defense capability,” he said. Further details on the new boats weren’t available.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who attended a ceremony in Tehran yesterday to mark Defense Industry Day, said the aim of his country’s military program is “to deter any type of confrontation.

The Karrar is Iran’s first domestically built drone and can carry as many as four cruise missiles and two 250-pound (113-kilogram) bombs and has a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles), according to state television.

Iran has hailed its recent advances as proof it is technologically self-sufficient and ready to confront threats, even while under four sets of United Nations sanctions for refusing to scale back its nuclear program.

The U.S. and several of its allies say Iran’s nuclear activities are a cover for development of a bomb, a claim that Iran rejects, saying it needs the technology to generate power for its growing population. Israel views the work as a threat to its existence and hasn’t ruled out attacks against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Tehran at lnasseri@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Maher Chmaytelli at mchmaytelli@bloomberg.net.

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