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In its continuing effort to advance the peaceful uses of nuclear and conventional weapons, Iran reported that, during nonmilitary maneuvers off the coast, it fired a high-speed underwater missile that could track down and blow apart any large ship, either on the surface or underwater.

To makes its pacific intentions even more convincingly, the country’s nonmilitary also stated that it had successfully fired a missile that was capable of carrying multiple warheads.

Meanwhile, the U. S. and its European allies continued to discuss Iran’s true intentions and explosive capabilities. The members of the coalition found some consolation in the misguided country’s previous exaggerations of its nonmilitary prowess. One spokesperson for the semi-trembling group said, “They’re just trying to demonstrate to their own people that Iran can defend itself against any possible attack by the U. S.”

During the same period, an earthquake struck northern Iraq, prompting even some of the faithful to question whether the country’s subjugation to a fundamentalist Islamic government has earned it the special providence of Allah.

As one Iranian mullah, who insisted on anonymity for reasons of self-preservation, stated, “I just don’t understand. We do everything that Allah commands in the Koran, and look what happens. We still have a deadly earthquake.”

On the other hand, another Muslim cleric, who also wished not to be identified, confided, “I don’t know. Maybe we got the earthquake because Allah is mad that we’re threatening other countries with death and destruction. Sometimes, I’m haunted by the fact that Islam means peace.”

An ordinary, concerned citizen observed, “I’m frightened. Sometimes, it seems that we’re almost begging to be bombed. It reminds me of the way Saddam was behaving before the invasion. Personally, I can’t imagine a reason in the world that we need nuclear energy or high-speed weapons, even if we say they’re only for peaceful purposes. Besides, if we ever fired one at anybody, we’re not a big enough country to shrug off a nuclear retaliation.”

Finally, a highly placed cleric mused, “Do you think hatred could be wrong? What if Allah is an ancient mnemonic for the God of All-ah the people on earth?” ”