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Iran: We Will Use Missiles If Attacked

Head of Iran's Elite Revolutionary Guards, General Yahya-Rahim Safavi, speaks for members of Iran's hardline Basij militia during a gathering outside the former US embassy in Tehran 30 November 2003 to mark the national Basij week. AFP PHOTO/Atta KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Iran's Revolutionary Guards chief Saturday warned the United States and Britain that Iran would respond with its missiles if attacked, a clear threat to Israel which lies within easy range of such a launch.

"The world knows Iran has a ballistic missile power with a range of 2,000 kilometers," Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi said on state-run television.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Saturday that military action against Iran over its nuclear ambitions is "genuinely" not on the table, ahead of talks with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed El-Baradei, in Davos, Switzerland.

Iran's improved version of Shahab-3 missile can strike more than 1,300 miles from their launch site, putting Israel and U.S. forces in the Middle East in easy range.

"We have no intention to invade any country. We will take effective defense measures if attacked," he said. "These missiles are in the possession of the Guards."

The Guards were equipped with the missiles in July 2003.

"We are producing these missiles and don't need foreign technology for that," he said. Iran announced last year that it had fully developed solid fuel technology for missiles, a major breakthrough that increases their accuracy.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards are a separate organization from the regular armed forces. Founded after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Guards have their own air, naval and ground components.