Iran tests missiles, heightening tension with West | Reuters

By | July 9, 2008

Iran has test-fired nine missiles, including a new version of the Shahab-3, which is capable of reaching its main regional enemy Israel.

The Shahab-3, with a range of 2,000km (1,240 miles), was armed with a conventional warhead, state media said. Iran has tested the missile before, but the latest launch comes amid rising tensions with the US and Israel over the country’s nuclear programme. – bbc

Iran test-fired nine missiles on Wednesday and warned the United States and Israel it was ready to retaliate for any attack over its disputed nuclear projects.

Washington, which says Iran seeks atomic bombs, told Tehran to halt further tests. Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil producer, says its nuclear programme is only for electricity.

Iran’s missile tests rattled oil markets, helping crude prices to rebound about $2 a barrel after recent falls.

Speculation that Israel could bomb Iran has mounted since a big Israeli air drill last month. U.S. leaders have not ruled out military options if diplomacy fails to end the nuclear row.

Revolutionary Guards air force commander Hossein Salami said in televised comments that thousands of missiles were ready to be fired at “pre-determined targets”. Missiles were shown soaring from desert launchpads, leaving long vapour trails.

“We warn the enemies who intend to threaten us with military exercises and empty psychological operations that our hand will always be on the trigger and our missiles will always be ready to launch,” he said, according to ISNA news agency.

The White House told Iran to “refrain from further missile tests if they truly seek to gain the trust of the world”. –reuters

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