Saturday, December 31, 2011

Iran test fires long-range missiles

TEHRAN: Iran test-fired long range missiles on Saturday during a naval exercise in the Gulf, the semi-official Fars news agency said, following a threat by Tehran to close shipping lanes if the West imposes sanctions on its oil exports.Another Iranian news agency also reported that Tehran's nuclear negotiator would write to the European Union offering to resume nuclear talks with major powers.Ten-day naval drill in the Gulf began last week as Iran showed its resolve to counter any attack by enemies such as Israel or the United States.


"Iran test-fired missiles including long range (missiles), surface to sea, in the Persian Gulf," Fars said on Saturday.Tehran threatened on Tuesday to stop the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz if it became the target of an oil embargo over its nuclear ambitions, a move that could trigger military conflict with countries dependent on Gulf oil.Tensions with the West have risen since the UN nuclear watchdog reported on Nov. 8 that Iran appears to have worked on designing an atomic bomb and may still be pursuing research to that end. Iran denies this and says it needs nuclear technology to generate electricity to meet growing domestic demand.

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