x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Iran test fires three short-range missiles

The country begins war games two days after the UN nuclear watchdog disclosed Iran was building a second uranium enrichment plant.

Iran test-fired three short-range missiles on Sunday as the Islamic republic began war games two days after the UN nuclear watchdog disclosed it was building a second uranium enrichment plant. Hossein Salami, air force commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, said that on Monday there would also be a test-firing of the long-range Shahab 3 missile which Iran says has a range of 1,300 to 2,000 kilometres and could hit its arch-foe Israel.

"Tomorrow we will test the long-range Shahab-3 missile," he told state television. He also told reporters, without elaborating, that the Guards tested a "multiple missile launcher for the first time" on Sunday and that later in the day Shahab-1 and Shahab-2 medium-range missiles would be test-fired. Iran's Fars news agency said the multiple launcher could fire two missiles aimed at separate targets simultaneously.

Mr Salami called the manoeuvres an "indication" of Iran's "strong will to defend our values and interests." "This exercise has a message of friendship for friendly countries. For greedy countries that seek to intimidate us, the message is that we are capable of a prompt and crushing response to their animosity," state television website quoted him as saying. Dismissing Israel as a potential threat, Mr Salami said: "That regime is not in a position that we need to comment about threats from it."