Iran's `show' of force: Loud but not so clear

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Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 12:00 am

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - In years past, keeping track of Iran's claims of military and technological advances was relatively easy: Wait until early February and watch the parades and announcements in the buildup to celebrations marking the Islamic Revolution. Now, with the strategic stakes ever higher, Iranian officials are boasting louder, pressing harder and leaving questions about how much is real.

The reasons for the flood of self-described achievements touch on the various pressures bearing down on Iran, including Western sanctions and the threats of possible military action if diplomacy cannot solve the standoff over Tehran's nuclear program. It also highlights the learning curve of Internet-age showmanship from a country that acknowledges the economic pain inflicted by sanctions - which could tighten further on Wednesday - but claims it has the tools to bounce back stronger.

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