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Iran Claims System to Defend Against Missile Attack

A top Iranian military official says the country is now one of the few places in the world to be equipped with an anti-cruise missile defense system.

The chief of the air force of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, was quoted by Iran's Fars news agency Friday as saying Iran has installed a system to protect itself against the unmanned, self-propelled, guided missiles designed to evade radar.

Hajizadeh said the system was tested during Iran's defense weapons exercises this week.

He also warned Persian Gulf nations hosting U.S. bases which, he says, could potentially be used for an attack against Iran. He vowed to retaliate if they serve as a launching pad against Iran.

Both the United States and Israel have said all options remain on the table in dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said earlier this week that economic sanctions against Tehran are having a bigger impact than anticipated and triggering divisions within the Iranian leadership.

Many Western countries believe Iran is seeking to build a nuclear weapon, but Iran denies the charge and claims its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.