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Iran to test-fire missiles in world's most important oil shipping lane

Tehran, Sat, 31 Dec 2011 ANI

Tehran, Dec 31 (ANI): Iran has announced that it would test-fire a barrage of long-range missiles as part of military exercises in the Persian Gulf.


The announcement was made on the heels of heightened tensions between Iran and Western powers over Tehran's threat to block oil shipments through the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a vital energy waterway.


Senior Iranian navy officers boasted that ground-to-sea, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, some of which could theoretically be fitted with nuclear warheads, would be tested in the Gulf of Oman at the southern end of the Persian Gulf, The Telegraph reports.


Iran's vice president, Mohammed Reza Rahimi, recently warned that 'not a drop' of oil would be allowed to pass through the Strait of Hormuz if Europe and the US proceeded with a plan to punish Tehran for its nuclear activities by sanctioning its energy exports.


The threat prompted an angry response from US, which said any attempted blockade would 'not be tolerated'.


It raised fears that the US could send warships to the region to protect international shipping.


According to the paper, two US naval vessels entered the zone where Iran was holding its war games on Thursday, although military officials insisted that they were on a pre-planned, routine mission. (ANI)


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