Font Size

- Aa +

Sat 31 Dec 2011 10:29 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Iran denies testing long range missiles in Gulf exercise

Naval drill follows threat by Tehran to close shipping lanes if West imposes oil sanctions

Iran denies testing long range missiles in Gulf exercise
Iran test-fired long range missiles on Saturday during a naval exercise in the Gulf

Iran's senior navy commander denied state media reports that the Islamic Republic had test-fired long-range missiles during a naval drill on Saturday, saying the missiles would be launched in the next few days.

Mahmoud Mousavi told Iran's English-language Press TV "the exercise of launching missiles will be carried out in the coming days."

The semi-official Fars news agency, Press TV and the state-run IRNA news agency had earlier reported that Iran had test-fired long-range and other missiles during the exercise on Saturday.

"All kinds of surface-to-sea, sea-to-sea and surface-to-air as well as shoulder-launched missiles will be tested in the coming days," Mousavi told Press TV.

The 10-day naval drill, which began last Saturday, coincided with increased tension in Iran's nuclear row with Western powers, after the European Union said it was considering a ban - already in place in the United States - on imports of Iranian oil.

Tehran says the drill is aimed at showing Iran's resolve to counter any attack by enemies such as Israel or the United States.

The United States and Israel have not ruled out a military option if diplomacy fails to resolve the nuclear dispute with Iran.

Washington and its allies say Iran wants to build nuclear bombs under cover of a civilian programme of uranium enrichment. Tehran denies this.

Digital magazine: Read the latest edition of Arabian Business online