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Iran in Missile Exercise Day after U.S. Sanctions | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Members of Iranian revolutionary guard march during a parade to commemorate anniversary of Iran-Iraq war, in Tehran. Reuters

Iran is holding a military exercise on Saturday in a show of defiance a day after the United States imposed sanctions over a ballistic missile test launch last weekend.

The Revolutionary Guards said that the missiles deployed for Saturday’s exercise would only be of very short range — up to 75 kilometers.

They said the maneuvers in the northeastern province of Semnan were aimed at demonstrating their “complete preparedness to deal with the threats” and “humiliating sanctions” from Washington.

The U.S. sanctions are a response to Iran’s test launch of a medium-range ballistic missile last Sunday as well as its support for Yemen’s Houthi insurgents who attacked a Saudi frigate earlier this week, officials said.

Hours after the new U.S. sanctions were announced, Pentagon chief James Mattis charged that Iran was “the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.”

Iran reacted angrily to the sanctions, vowing to impose “legal limitations” on Americans it says are involved in creating and supporting “extreme terrorist groups.”

“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.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday that Iran would “never initiate a war”, despite facing threats, “but we can only rely on our own means of defense.”