DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran test-fired a new land-to-sea ballistic missile in the Gulf, a senior official said on Tuesday, days before an annual ceremony meant to showcase its military muscle at a time of rising tension with the West over its nuclear activity.
Israel has publicly warned of possible air strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites if Tehran does not resolve Western suspicions it is developing nuclear weapons know-how under cover of a declared civilian atomic energy programme, something Tehran denies.
Iran has threatened to hit Israel and U.S. bases in the region if it comes under attack, and also to block the Strait of Hormuz, the neck of the Gulf through which 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil exports pass.
“The defense ministry has been able to test a new missile in the Persian Gulf which has a high ability to hit targets,” General Majid Bokaei, Iran’s deputy defense minister, was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA, which described the missile as a ballistic missile.
“This new missile, which has been equipped with a surface-to-surface missile system, exits the atmosphere after being launched, re-enters it at high speed, and completely destroys the target vessel or warship.”
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