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Iran test-fires Shahab-3 ballistic missile

Published By United Press International
TEHRAN, Iran, July 3 (UPI Asia) –Iran test-fired a ballistic missile Tuesday as part of war games designed to show its ability to retaliate if attacked, Iranian media reported.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard fired the medium-range Shahab-3 missile at a mock target in the Kavir Desert on the second day of its Great Prophet 7 exercise, which is due to end on Wednesday, Iran's Al-Alam television network reported.

They are aimed at testing the precision and efficiency of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' warheads and missile system, the reports said.

Iran routinely conducts military drills.

The continuing crisis in Syria, Iran's closest ally in the Arab world, and the near-failed nuclear talks with the West could potentially make Iran vulnerable for a military attack, reports The Wall Street Journal.

A new round of technical meetings is scheduled in Turkey this week between Iran and six counterparties who are aiming to curb what they say are Iranian steps toward building nuclear weapons.

But there is little expectation of a breakthrough between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany.

During the last rounds of talks in Moscow in June, both sides acknowledged a large gap between their visions for a possible deal.

Iran contends its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes.

Both Israel and the U.S. have reportedly said a military option is not being debated at present.

A sanction regime imposed by the U.N. Security Council and extended through punishing additional Western sanctions was reinforced last week.

The United States last week put restrictions on foreign companies doing business with Iran's central bank.

The European Union has also imposed an embargo on Iranian crude that also blocked EU companies from providing insurance for tankers carrying Iranian oil anywhere in the world.
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Tour de France concludes in Paris
Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa