Monday, January 2, 2012

Iran missile test seen as warning to west

Iran launched a long-range missile during a naval exercise in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, a move regarded as Tehran’s warning to the west over imposing oil sanctions because of its nuclear programme.

Iranian state television showed footage of Ghader, a ground-to-sea missile, which was test-fired on Monday and hit the supposed targets. The missile, said to have a range of 200km, is considered by Iran as long-range. However, such a range for a cruise missile is generally regarded as medium.

Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, head of Iran’s navy, told the state television on Monday the exercise showed the country’s “defensive and pre-emptive prowess … despite 33 years of sanctions”.

“Security of the Strait of Hormuz is completely under our [Iran] authority. The control of the Strait of Hormuz is completely under our authority [too],” Mr Sayyari said and added Iran’s armed forces and the elite revolutionary guards would not let “any enemy [the US and its European allies as well as Israel] to put our interests in danger”.

In a show of might, Iran has begun test-firing missiles, such as Mehrab and Nour, since Sunday.
Tensions rose last week as Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which one-third of the world’s seaborne oil trade passes, should the west impose oil sanctions on Tehran.

In a clear warning by the Islamic regime to the west of its capability to disrupt the world economy through stopping the oil trade traffic through the waterway, Tehran began the 10-day naval exercise. Read More