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Iran's Revolutionary Guards test-fire ballistic missiles

Iran has announced the beginning of a series of ballistic missile tests. The move comes amid growing concern among the international community over Tehran's weapons technology.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards launched several short- and medium-range rockets this week, state news agencies reported on Tuesday.

The tests, which took place at silos in different locations around the country, are to continue for several days. IRNA news agency said the missiles showed the country's "deterrence power."

Iran says it has surface-to-surface missiles capable of striking Israel and US military installations in the Middle East but denies its missiles are able to carry nuclear weapons.

After Tehran conducted similar tests in January, the US imposed sanctions against the country even as it was unlocking separate sanctions relief following the confirmation of the much-heralded nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.

Iran emphasized that Tuesday's tests were intended for national security and didn't pose a threat to any other countries.

The United States is closely following reports that Iran has conducted ballistic missile tests, a US official said on Tuesday. "If confirmed, we intend to raise the matter in the UN Security Council," the official added. "We will also encourage a serious review of the incident and press for an appropriate response."

blc/jil (Reuters, AP, dpa)

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