Iran Successfully Tests Three Long Range Missiles
Iranian state-run television showed a footage on Monday of the firing of a long-range cruise missile, which is said to have a range of 200 km. The military test is considered by France as a very disturbing signal for the entire international community. The television said that the Iranian navy was able to carry out two successful Qader sea-to-shore missiles, and that many such missiles have been distributed to the Iranian Armed Forces.
On Monday the Iranian military has also tested a surface-to-surface long range Nour missile, which was presented by the Iranian leaders as a “radar-evading, target-seeking, guided and controlled” advanced missile.
Medium range, surface-to-air Mehrab missile was tested on Sunday, and a Nasr missile was fired on Monday. All are said to have been successfully tested.
The firing of the missile comes at a time when Iran announced its intention of closing the Strait of Hormuz, through which 10 percent of the world oil is flowing, in retaliation for the sanctions the United States threatened to impose.
As a response to the Iranian claim to shut the Strait down, the Obama administration imposed sanctions against the Iranian central bank, which is the one through which the regime conducts all its international transactions.
The move is thought to be a blow to the Iranian currency and to its economy and is expected to slow the nuclear program down and at the same time to amount enough pressure to achieve the overthrowing of the ayatollahs.
The French analysts believe that Iran does not have the power to actually close the Strait, in spite of the assertions made by the Iranian leaders who said they had sonar-avoiding technology and that they would mass enough navy power to do so.
While France is concerned that the Iranian show-off is prove to a volatile behavior of the regime in Tehran, Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak believes that it is only a sign of the “dire straits” Iran is into after the last round of sanction. The flexing of the military muscles, the minister says, shows the desire of Iran to discourage the international community from continuing to impose sanctions.
On Sunday, the Iranian agency Fars said that the first nuclear fuel rod has been produced in the country. The rod is said to have been successfully tested and installed in the research reactor in Tehran.
On Tuesday, French foreign minister Alain Juppe said that it was time for tougher sanctions on Iran and appealed to the European partners to follow the two-tiers proposition made by the president of France: the freezing of the Iranian central bank’s assets and the total embargo on Iranian oil.
He reminded that the United States were already moving toward that kind of sanctions, and reiterated the idea that the sanctions should be imposed before the 30 January EU foreign ministers’ meeting.
Meanwhile, an Iranian highly-ranked officer warned the United States navy not to bring back the US carrier that was stationed in the Persian Gulf and was moved as the Iranian drills began. The military official warned that if the carrier returned, unspecified measures would be taken.11