July 9 (Mehr News Agency) - Iran test-fired nine long- and medium-range surface-to-surface
missiles, including the upgraded version of the Shahab-3, in the Persian Gulf on
The tests came in response to threats by the United States and Israel, which
have said they may strike Iran's nuclear sites if Tehran refuses to halt its
uranium enrichment program.
The missiles included an upgraded version of the Shahab-3 missile, which
officials have said could reach targets 2,000km away.
"The exercise is aimed at demonstrating Iran's might and perseverance against
the enemies, who in recent weeks have threatened Iran with harsh rhetoric,"
Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Air Force Commander Hossein Salami said.
"We fire these missiles in honor of Iran to say that they are a small amount of
Iran's military might.
Salami said, "We warn the enemies, who intend to threaten us with military
exercises and empty psychological operations, that our hand will always be on
the trigger and our missiles will always be ready to launch."
"The enemies need to know that Iran is scrutinizing their activities wherever
According to Reuters, some U.S. facilities across the Persian Gulf are little
more than 200km from Iran's coast, putting them in range of Iranian weaponry.
Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if attacked. About 40 percent
of globally traded oil moves through the Persian Gulf waterway.
Other surface-to-surface missiles tested by naval and air units of the Islamic
Revolutionary Guards Corps were the Zelzal and Fat'h, with respective ranges of
400km and 170km.
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany last month
offered Iran an updated package of proposals meant to end the West's prolonged
standoff with the Islamic Republic.
The package, which follows an original proposal in 2006, offers nuclear
cooperation and wider trade in exchange for a halt in Iran's uranium enrichment
Iran has also presented its own package of proposals on ways to resolve
international problems including the threat of nuclear proliferation.
Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili last week said Iran has
provided a "constructive and creative" response to a letter by the United
States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany with a focus on common
points between the two separate packages.
Iran has repeatedly ruled out suspension of enrichment as a precondition for
negotiations and has said it will "only hold talks only on common points".