Iran tests patience with missile tests

Iran tests patience with missile tests

The Iranian Navy test-fires a missile during Velayat 94 military maneuvers in January 2016 . — File photo
The Iranian Navy test-fires a missile during Velayat 94 military maneuvers in January 2016 . — File photo


Tehran — Iran’s navy has test-fired the latest versions of the Nasr and Dehlaviyeh missiles during military exercises in the Gulf, local media reported on Monday.

“The latest naval cruise missile called Nasr was test-fired during Velayat 95 naval maneuvers in the southern waters of the country,” said Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan, according to the Fars news agency, adding that the missile had successfully hit its target.

Tasnim news agency said the Dehlaviyeh, a laser-guided missile, had also been successfully tested.

It was reported back in 2012 that Iran had based the Dehlaviyeh on a Russian anti-tank missile.

The ranges of the latest versions were not given.

Iran’s navy began an annual drill Sunday near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, its first major exercise since the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, state television reported.

The TV report quoted navy chief Adm. Habibollah Sayyari as saying the two-day maneuver will cover an area of 2 million square kilometers (772,000 square miles) in the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean near the strait. It showed Iranian warships and helicopters taking part in the exercise.

Nearly a third of all oil traded by sea passes through the strait and it has been the scene of previous confrontations between the US and Iran.

But the drill does not involve Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary force the US Navy often criticizes for harassing its vessels.

Iran’s navy routinely holds war games it says are aimed at improving its readiness against threats. It also sends its warships to international waters off the Gulf of Aden to fight piracy.

Last month, a US Navy destroyer fired warning shots at four Iranian fast-attack vessels near the Strait of Hormuz after they closed in at high speed. The vessels belonged to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

Trump said earlier this month that “Iran has been put formally put on notice” for firing a ballistic missile, and later imposed new sanctions on Tehran. — Agencies