Iran test-fires new missile in Persian Gulf
Iran on Sunday test fired a new submarine-to-surface missile during war games in the Persian Gulf.india Updated: Aug 27, 2006 21:18 IST
Iran on Sunday test fired a new submarine-to-surface missile during war games in the Persian Gulf, a show of military might amid a standoff with the West over its nuclear activities.
A brief video clip showed the long-range missile, called Thaqeb or Saturn, exiting the water and hitting a target on the water's surface within less than a mile. The test came as part of large-scale military exercises that began on August 19.
"The Army successfully test fired a top speed long-range sub-to-surface missile off the Persian Gulf," the navy commander, Gen Sajjad Kouchaki, said on state-run television.
Iran routinely has held war games over the past two decades to improve its combat readiness and to test equipment including missiles, tanks and armored personnel carriers.
But Sunday's firing of the missile came as Iran remains defiant just five days before a deadline imposed by the UN Security Council for Tehran to suspend the enrichment of uranium, which can produce both reactor fuel and material usable in nuclear warheads.
Iran said last week it is open to negotiations but it refused any immediate suspension, calling the deadline illegal.
Tehran has expressed worry about Israeli threats to destroy its nuclear facilities, which the West contends could be used to make a bomb but which Iran insists are for the peaceful purpose of generating electricity. The Islamic country also is concerned about the US military presence in neighbouring Iraq and Afghanistan.
In an advance for Iran's weapons industry, the Thaqeb is the country's first submarine-fired missile that leaves the water to strike its target, adding to Iran's repetoire of weapons that can hit ships in the Gulf.