Iran tests long-range missiles as part of major naval exercise

Posted on January 2, 2012

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Iran said on Monday it had successfully test-fired two long-range missiles during a naval

exercise in the Gulf, flexing its military muscle to show it could hit Israel and U.S. bases in the region if attacked.

In response to mounting Western pressure over its nuclear ambitions, Iran started a naval drill in the Gulf last week and warned that it could shut the Strait of Hormuz if sanctions were imposed on its oil exports, the country’s main revenue source.

The 10 days of naval wargames and the warning over the Strait, a narrow Gulf shipping lane through which 40 percent of world oil passes, have rattled oil markets and pushed up crude prices.

Analysts say Iran’s increasingly strident rhetoric is aimed at sending a message to the West that it should think twice about the economic cost of putting further pressure on Iran.

“We have successfully test-fired long-range shore-to-sea and surface-to-surface missiles, called Qader (capable) and Nour (Light) today,” Deputy Navy Commander Mahmoud Mousavi told state television.

Iran denies Western accusations that it is trying to build atomic bombs, saying it needs nuclear technology to generate electricity.

The United States and Israel have not ruled out military action against Iran if diplomacy fails to resolve Iran’s nuclear row with the West.

Haaretz

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