Tags: iran | tests | new | missile

Iran Says It Tested New Missile

Monday, 01 Dec 2008 05:08 PM

By VOA News

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Iran has announced a series of military tests and drills amid ongoing tension with the West over its nuclear program.

Iranian state television, Press TV, Monday quoted air force officials saying they had conducted a successful test of a newly-designed air-to-air heat-seeking missile.

State radio quoted the air force commander saying Iran has also designed a new radar-evading airplane. Brigadier General Hassan Shahsafi said military specialists are now building a small model of the aircraft, and will produce a real version after testing the model.

Iran's navy commander, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, also announced that a navy drill will be held this month in and around the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran has repeatedly threatened to shut the strait down if it faces any attack over its nuclear program. About 40 percent of the world's oil travels through the strategic waterway, which separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula.

An image taken on 12 Nov 2008 of a missile ready to be test-fired at an undisclosed location in Iran

Iran frequently stages war games and weapons tests to show its ability to respond to a potential attack by the United States or Israel.

Neither state has ruled out military action to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but Washington says it wants to use diplomacy to solve the nuclear crisis.

Iranian state media have recently run a number of reports downplaying the likelihood of talks or improvement in relations with the United States under the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama.

According to the state news agency IRNA, parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani said Monday he is waiting to see whether the new U.S. administration takes practical steps toward reconciliation.

Other Iranian observers have interpreted Mr. Obama's choices for his national security team as a sign that the U.S. is unlikely to fundamentally change its stance on Middle Eastern issues.

Iran says its nuclear program is aimed at producing peaceful nuclear energy. The United States and Europe fear it is secretly trying to build a nuclear bomb.

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