|Iran stages manoeuvres in the Gulf|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Thursday, 02 November 2006 17:00|
|Iran has begun a series of military manoeuvres in the Gulf aimed at deterring a strike on the country's nuclear facilities. The manoeuvres dubbed the "Great Prophet", included the test firing of several new missiles, including short range naval missiles and the long range Shihab-3. The Shihab-3 rocket is capable of reaching Israel and could be fitted with a nuclear warhead. |
Quote: "The Shihab-3 has a range of some 1,250 miles (2,000 km), placing Israel - and American positions in the region - within range. The missile can easily be outfitted with a nuclear warhead. The Shihab-2 was also tested, with a cluster-bomb warhead. It is capable of breaking into 1,400 bomblets upon impact. Other missiles tested include the Zelzal missiles Hizbullah attempted to fire at Tel Aviv, as well as Scud-B, Zolfaghar-73 and Z-3 missiles. The tests mark the beginning of ten days of manoeuvres being run by Iran's Revolutionary Guard. The manoeuvres have been named "Great Prophet," and are taking place throughout the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and various regions inside Iran.
Iran has previously threatened to blockade the Straights of Hormuz, through which two fifths of the world's oil supply flows, in the event of a strike on Iran.
Quote: ""The Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf are... the corner stone of [Iran's] defence. The Strait of Hormuz counts as a point of economic control and pressure in the transfer of energy for aggressive powers from beyond the continent that want to endanger the security of the region", General Safavi said.
Iran also recently published a computer game in which the player must destroy a US tanker in order to blockade shipping in the Gulf. Iran has stated that the missile tests should send a strong warning to their enemies, not to make any move which would make the region tense. Last week President Bush was reported as saying he would support Israel if it decided to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. How long support from the international community will last in the event of a surge in oil prices is another matter.