INTERNATIONAL

Iran test-fires more missiles

Atul Aneja

DUBAI: Iran has test-fired more missiles in the Gulf during a tri-service exercise to deter Israel and the U.S. from attacking its nuclear installations.

The Iranians followed up Wednesday’s test of the 2000-km range Shahab-3 missile with another test of the same weapon at night. This was the first occasion when the missile was tested at night.

The Iranians also fired an anti-submarine torpedo called Hoot. Iran’s state-run Press TV said a slew of missiles were tested on Thursday, the third day of the exercise codenamed Great Prophet III.

These included shore to sea, surface to surface and sea to air rockets.

On Wednesday, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps fired nine long- and medium-range missiles, including the Shahab 1, 2, 3, Fateh and Zelzal rockets. Analysts see the manoeuvres as a response to an exercise last month by Israel. More than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighter jets participated in military manoeuvres, which included flights to a distance of 1,440 km. The Iranian exercise has triggered a spate of responses from Israel and the U.S. Israel has said the exercises were a matter of “grave concern.” Contrary to the U.S. official line that all options, including military action, were on the table in dealing with Iran, presidential hopeful Barak Obama said Tehran had to be engaged through “direct and aggressive” diplomacy.

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