Sunday, February 13, 2005

Iran starts making torpedoes as atomic threats fly


Iran on Saturday started churning out a production line of torpedoes as pressure mounts against the Islamic Republic, which Washington accuses of seeking to acquire nuclear weapons, state media reported.

Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani, in naval uniform, was shown on state television inspecting some 20 torpedoes, mainly painted red with black tips.

"Even if a radar spots it, there is no escape from the inevitable fate," he said, watching the propeller of one of the weapons being tested in a water tank.

Defence officials told the official IRNA new agency the weapons could be installed on helicopters, submarines and surface ships.

Iran's navy is known to have at least two Russian-made submarines but military analysts say the rickety vessels are unlikely to be suitable for much apart from laying mines.

The navy said recently that it also had a domestically produced midget submarine. ...