Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Iran 'testfires' new missile in war games nr Iraqi border

November 11, 2008 (Telegraph.co.uk) report: Iran 'test-fires' new missile
Iran has test-fired a new type of missile during war games near the Iraqi border, state television said on Tuesday, after warning the United States it would respond to any violation of Iranian airspace.

The English-language Press TV said the Iranian-made missile, named as the Samen, was successfully tested on Monday by the elite Revolutionary Guards in the western border city of Marivan.

They also tested artillery and rocket launchers, Press TV said on its website.

Iran's armed forces have staged frequent manoeuvres in recent months, coinciding with speculation of possible US or Israeli strikes against the Islamic Republic over its disputed nuclear ambitions.

In a move that further heightened tension, Iran in July test-fired nine highly advanced missiles, including one which reportedly could reach Israel and US bases in the Middle East.

Iran's army last Wednesday said US helicopters had been seen flying close to Iran's border and that it would respond to any violation, a message analysts said seemed directed at US President-Elect Barack Obama more than at American troops in Iraq.

The Nov 5 statement followed a cross-border raid last month by US forces into Syria, an action that was condemned by Damascus and Tehran.

The United States and its Western allies suspect Iran is seeking to build atomic bombs, a charge Tehran denies.

Mr Obama, like outgoing President George W Bush, has not ruled out military action although he has criticised the outgoing administration for not pushing for more diplomacy and engagement with Iran.

Iran has said it would respond to any attack on its territory by targeting US interests and Washington's ally Israel, as well as closing the Strait of Hormuz, a vital route for world oil supplies.



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