Iran to fire long-range missiles during Gulf drill

Iran commander says navy to test long-range missiles; Gantz: Iran can be neutralized with domestic, int'l preparation.

By REUTERS, JPOST.COM STAFF
December 30, 2011 14:24
2 minute read.
Iranian submarine in Strait of Hormuz

Iranian submarine in Strait of Hormuz 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer Iran)

 
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Iran will fire long-range missiles during a naval drill in the Gulf on Saturday, a semi-official news agency reported, a show of force at a time when Iran has threatened to close shipping lanes if the West imposes sanctions on its oil exports.

Iran has long-range missile systems including the Shahab-3, which could reach Israel and US bases in the Middle East. In the past week it has threatened to stop ships moving through the strategic Straight of Hormuz if sanctions are imposed on its oil exports over its disputed nuclear program, increasing tension in a long-running standoff with the West.

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"The Iranian navy will test several kinds of its missiles, including its long-range missiles, in the Persian Gulf on Saturday," Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi, deputy commander of the Iranian navy, told FARS news agency.

The United States and Israel have said they do not rule out military action against Iran if diplomacy fails to resolve a dispute over the country's nuclear program, which Tehran says is peaceful but the West says is a cover to build bomb.

Iran says it would retaliate if attacked. It started a 10-day navy drill on Saturday.

"The fire of missiles is the final part of the navy drill," said Mousavi. "The final phase of the drill is to prepare the navy for confronting the enemy in war situations."

In related news, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said Friday that the Iranian threat can be neutralized if both Israel and the international community take a responsible stance on the issue.

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"Iran is working on a nuclear program for its military. This warrants concern," Gantz said. "But the threat is not only directed towards Israel. The countries in our immediate proximity, and indeed beyond, are all at risk."

Speaking to a group of high-school students in Be'er Tuvia near Kiryat Malachi, Gantz called for adequate domestic and international preparation against the Iranian nuclear threat, but refused to elaborate on the kind of measures he was referring to.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

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