Iranian warship launches a missile 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/IRIB via Reuters TV)
TEHRAN - Iran test-fired a new medium-range missile, designed to evade radars, on Sunday during the last days of its naval drill in the Gulf, the official IRNA news agency quoted a military official as saying.
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10-day naval exercise coincided with increased tension in Iran's
nuclear row with Western powers. Iranian state television reported
Sunday that it successfully produced and tested fuel rods for its
nuclear power plants.
mid-range surface to air missile which is equipped with the latest
sophisticated anti-radar technologies has been successfully test-fired,"
Deputy Navy Commander Mahmoud Mousavi told IRNA.
Iran delayed testing its long-range missiles
during the drill, saying the weapons would be launched in the next few days.
Tehran has long-range missile systems including the Shahab-3, which could reach Israel and US bases in the Middle East.
the past week Iran has threatened to stop ships moving through the
strategic Strait of Hormuz if sanctions are imposed on its oil exports.
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threat has heightened tension between Iran and the West. The US Fifth
Fleet said it will not allow any disruption of traffic in the vital oil
shipping route.Successful production, testing of nuclear fuel rods
Sunday, Iran announced it has successfully produced and tested fuel
rods for use in its nuclear power plants, state television reported, in a
snub to international demands that it halt sensitive nuclear work.
The rods, which contain natural uranium, were made in Iran and have been
inserted into the core of Tehran's research nuclear reactor, state
fuel rods contain small pellets of fuel, usually low-enriched uranium,
patterned to give out heat produced by nuclear reaction without melting
"This great achievement will perplex the West, because the
Western countries had counted on a possible failure of Iran to produce
nuclear fuel plates," the Tehran Times
development was announced at a time of growing tension between Western
powers and Iran after the UN nuclear agency reported in November that
Tehran appeared to have worked on designing a nuclear weapon. Secret
research to that end may be continuing, it said.
States and its European allies have increased the sanctions pressure on
Iran, one of the world's largest oil producers, to push Tehran to halt
US President Barack Obama signed more sanctions
against Iran into law on Saturday, shortly after Iran signaled it was
ready for new talks with the West on its nuclear program and said it had
delayed long-range missile tests in the Gulf.West: Iran exaggerates nuclear developments
Western analysts say Iran sometimes exaggerates its nuclear advances to gain leverage in its stand-off with the West.
April, Iran's Atomic Energy Organization announced that the
installation of the machinery needed for producing nuclear fuel plates
had started. The nuclear plant for converting enriched nuclear fuel into
fuel rods was inaugurated in 2009.
"Currently, the rod is also undergoing rays at Tehran's Research
Reactor to examine its long-term performance, Iran's English language
Press TV reported.
Iran says only a few countries are capable of
making both the fuel "plates," used in the Tehran reactor, and nuclear
fuel rods, which are used in power stations.
Enriched uranium can
be used to fuel power plants and other types of reactors, which is
Iran's stated aim, or to provide material for atomic bombs if processed
much further, which the West suspects is the country's ultimate
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