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Iran Revolutionary Guards to test new missile

TEHRAN, Iran, November 2, 1999 (Reuters) - Iran's Revolutionary Guards are holding air exercises in a desert in central Iran, and will test-fire a new locally-manufactured anti-aircraft missile next week, the official IRNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

The exercises began in a desert near Qom, south of the capital, on Sunday and will end on November 10 with ``final testing'' of Sayyad-1 anti-aircraft missile, it quoted the commander of the manoeuvres General Hossein Khaleqi as saying.

``The latest anti-aircraft technology will be deployed. The purpose of the exercises is to procure defensive readiness,'' he said.

The general did not give details about the new missile.

Iran is seeking to develop its arms industry to self- sufficiency. In September it inaugurated four anti-armour missiles, the latest in a series produced by Iran in recent years.