Iran Test Fires Medium-Range Missile

Agence France Presse (AFP)02.01.2012 Iran
Iran Test Fires Medium-Range Missile

Iran Test Fires Medium-Range Missile

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Iran successfully test fired a medium-range surface-to-air missile on Sunday during navy war games taking place near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a spokesman for the maneuver said, according to the official IRNA news agency.

State TV said the missile, named Mehrab (Altar), has been designed to evade radars and was developed by Iranian scientists. The report didn’t provide details or say when the missile was tested.

A spokesman for the exercise, Rear Adm. Mahmoud Mousavi, said the missile is one of the newest in the navy’s arsenal.

“It’s equipped with state-of-the-art technology and a built-in system that enables it to thwart jammers,” Mousavi told state TV.

The 10-day exercise covered a 1,250-mile (2,000-kilometer) stretch of water beyond the Strait of Hormuz, including parts of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.

The drill is Iran’s latest show of strength in the face of mounting international criticism over its controversial nuclear program.

The exercise drew significant attention after Iranian Officials warned they may close the Strait of Hormuz, cutting off oil exports, if the West imposes sanctions on Iran’s oil shipments.

But Iranian Military Officials later backed off from the threat, saying Tehran can easily close the strategic oil route at the mouth of the Persian Gulf but has no intention of doing so at this point.

Mousavi made a similar reconciliatory comment on Sunday. “We won’t disrupt traffic through the Strait of Hormuz. We are not after this,” the semi-official ISNA news agency quoted him as saying.

In a move that could intensify a brewing Gulf showdown, U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday signed into law tough new sanctions targeting Iran’s central bank and financial sector.

20% of the world’s oil passes through the strait, making it the “most important chokepoint” globally, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Source: AFP; Arab News; ISNA



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