Iran tests missile as US tightens sanctions

2012-01-01 14:47

Tehran - Iran said on Sunday it had tested a new medium-range missile during war games near a vital Gulf oil transit channel, hours after US President Barack Obama signed a law tightening sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear programme.

A military spokesperson also announced that Iranian ships and submarines will on Monday carry out manoeuvres designed to allow them to shut the strategic channel, the Strait of Hormuz, if Tehran so wishes.

The show of military muscle underlined a threat by Iran to shut the narrow strait - a throughpoint for 20% of the world's oil - if more Western sanctions were applied over its nuclear programme.


The potential for that scenario, and possible open confrontation with US warships that patrol the Gulf, was given impetus when Obama on Saturday signed tough new sanctions targeting Iran's central bank and financial sector.

Under the measures, foreign firms will have to choose between doing business with the Islamic republic or the economically mighty United States.

The aim is to put the squeeze on Iran's crucial oil revenues, most of which are processed by the central bank.

Iran has said such sanctions, and a possible oil embargo being mulled by the European Union, could push it to close the Strait of Hormuz. Its war games have underlined the threat.

"From tomorrow morning (Monday), a vast majority of our naval units - surface and underwater, and aerial - will implement a new tactical formation, designed to make the passage of any vessel through the Strait of Hormuz impossible if the Islamic Republic of Iran's navy so chooses," navy spokesperson Commodore Mahmoud Mousavi was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

On Sunday, "for the first time, an anti-radar medium-range missile was successfully fired during the massive naval drills," Mousavi said, according to state media.

"This medium-range surface-to-air missile is equipped with the latest technology to combat radar-evading targets and intelligent systems which try to disrupt missile navigation," he was quoted as saying.

Further details on the missile were not given. It was not immediately known whether it was fired from a ship or from land, nor what distance it is able to fly.

  • Dmitri - 2012-01-01 15:10

    and Obama is in Hawaii playing golf - again !!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Spyker - 2012-01-01 17:42

      Duh.., as opposed to what.., playing golf in Gugulethu..? Kindly explain what it is you thought you may add to the content of the article, or perhaps you got an uncontrollable urge, to start the year with a completely meaningless contribution..?

      Shaun - 2012-01-01 18:04

      Spyker_May the World is almost on the verge of World War 3 and the president of the free World is playing Golf. I think his point is a valid one sir.

      Nick - 2012-01-01 18:53

      @Spyker and Shaun ..... come on gentlemen. Do you really believe Obama is the only one in the US who knows what's going on ?

      Juan - 2012-01-01 19:53

      In the words of GW Bush, "it's amazing what can happen in a world of the internet, cell phones and faxes"

      Spyker - 2012-01-01 22:41

      @Shaun.., Let me let the cat out of the bag... Do you know why he is playing golf in Hawaii and not in Gugulethu... ...? Well, yes, that is one reason... ...but, the other is that the sanctions against Iran are working.., VERY WELL. Hence Iran's desperation...

      John - 2012-01-02 21:59

      Hummmm The Iranians thought lets block the straight with an exercise just before the next american convoy arrives. The americans decided, they gave us no notice of their exercise, we will just ignore it, and show them our flags, on top of our beautiful big and modern warships...capable not only of wiping out the Iranian fleet, but every Iranian naval base too! Lets see: Iranian naval fleet wiped out. Lets be generous: american aircraft carrier strike force wiped out. Iranian naval bases and ports wiped out. Enter the Iranian Air Force, Iranian Air force wiped out. There are more than enough american navy and air force units to totally wipe out the iranian navy and air force. Really. And under a surprise attack, it is the rednecks of the USA navy and air force which have the authority to react, NOT the clown politicos in Washington. The Iranians will be wiped out before the political clowns in Washington even get woken up out of bed..

      John - 2012-01-02 22:09

      So o'bummer can play golf any where he wants... A surprise attack will trigger automatic responses by the USA Navy and Air Force. By the time the notifications start arriving in Washington, and some one goes to wake up o'bummer, to inform him, it may well be over. Particularly if certain officers feel the need for security of communications, in the light of wikileaks, and decide to deliver the message in person, for a couple steps up the chain... o'bummer will be notified what happened, past tense.

  • Larry - 2012-01-01 15:22

    I can see another Iraq situation on the near Horizon.

      Spyker - 2012-01-01 17:27

      It will be nothing like Iraq. The US war in Iraq was a revenge-war (for 9/11) so they tried to fight a 'politically-correct war (and there is no such thing). Footnote: we should however be careful of a wholesale condemnation of the US’s war in Iraq; reminder – the US did not declare war against Iraq (hence it was not a US-Iraq war per se, it was rather a war against the Hussein regime [SHR] – the demise of SHR was in fact the first domino to fall in what later became the “Arab Summer”. The ‘US’s war in Iraq’ was another Vietnam (as the French predicted at time) and was in fact ‘ignited’ by the exact same means – ie false information. Eg – the Vietnam-War was started by the Gulf of Tonkin- and USS Maddox Incident – one actual (albeit heavily distorted – some suggest that it was perhaps even staged) event, the other was undeniably non-existent. Iraq, as everyone now knows was ignited by non-existent Weapons-of-Mass-Destruction (at least non-existent at the time). This will be a full conventional war. We will, for the first time since WW2, see the US’s full conventional war-machine in play. These Iranian-idiots are as dethatched as our ANC is. They cannot comprehend, they are playing right into the hands of the US and the US cannot afford another protracted war, the US would want it to be a ‘6-Day’ war. cont. below..,

      Spyker - 2012-01-01 17:31

      But the stupidity of the Iranian regime can only be matched by our own ANC regime. Iran could completely alienate itself – large amounts of the oil passing through the Strait of Hormuz are destined for India and China. On average (for 2011) 28 Oil-tankers pass through the ‘Straights’ – 14 loaded, 14 empty (viz to be filled), excluding all the other maritime traffic. There are alternatives – eg the deactivated 1.65-million bbl/d Iraqi Pipeline across Saudi Arabia (IPSA), but it will be (very) expensive. This may unite China and the USA in a single offensive action (even if only clandestinely) – you do not want to be a meaningless little piece of Arab inanity on the wrong side of such an action. This is what happens when you have a country that is under control of a regime with the cognitive capacity of a Woodwork-student.., so perhaps the time is ripe, for Iran to demonstrate to the world, where you end up if you have a ‘Government of Goons’... The people I have sincere compassion for are those opposed, to the Iranian regime, but are trapped in the country. The people who cannot stand up against the renegade regime, but will end up as cannon-fodder – probably a minority of decent hard-working people, with families, etc, who simply cannot depose the oppressive regime – they will be the legitimate casualties of the war.

  • Sharkshoot - 2012-01-01 15:36

    A war between the US and Iran is approaching. At this rate I can see the US going in with extreme prejudice which will mean Iran will be levelled like a bowling green.

      Spyker - 2012-01-01 15:51

      Mmmmm.., nope, do not agree, perhaps as empty as a bowling green in Zimababwe, but flat... ...nooooooo... In fact the surface will be particularly irregular.

      Shaun - 2012-01-01 18:05

      I fear China and Russia will have something to say about that first sir.

      Juan - 2012-01-01 19:55

      Yes China and Russia are traditional allies of Iran, and they have vetsed interests in Iran as well. Things could get quite messy

      Spyker - 2012-01-01 22:36

      China will NEVER get into a confrontation with NATO (ie the USA and the EU) - it will be suicide, viz the Chinese economy (and all that goes with it) is by-and-large the consequence of trade with (effectively what constitutes) NATO. Do we even know that Chinese economy is actually what we think it is..? Think about it - it is not an open economy where everything can be checked and verified. Perhaps it is... I am just not all that convinced. All uncertainties aside - what can the Chinese possibly gain by going to war with Nato..? Defeat them and then there will be nobody to buy their products..? On top of that - the Chinese do not exactly come from a long lineage of experience at the front-lines of World Wars... Russia.., ha, ha, ha... If you think the US economy cannot afford a war then Russia cannot even afford to pretend to go to war. Again, where do Russians exports go - ye, you guessed it - the EU. Notwithstanding the above, Russia is not internally politically stable enough to go to war on a global scale. This was one of the fundamental flaws in the Nazi armour - they had internal problems and they totally underestimated the impact of a lack of internal stability has during an offensive campaign. At worst, this will be a re-run of the Cuban-Missile-Crisis. The book of Despotic-Idiots-Running-a-Country says - 'if you want to threaten the US with a conventional war the do it while the Democrats are in the White-House'.

  • Tshivhombela Fhatuwani - 2012-01-01 16:13

    War war war! Test to sustain power. Whether Iran bows to American led pressure, it will never avoid this imminent war. Giving up their nuclear wouldn't help either but if war breaks out Israel will suffer more.

  • mundu.olewega - 2012-01-01 19:30

    I think Iran's navy will be making an artificial reef in the gulf pretty soon.

  • Ballito - 2012-01-03 10:59

    definatly iran russia and china big allies cause if america trys to bomb iran which means all oil and gas is theirs like iraq.remember the documentary the hyster driver on the oil rig which was american gets paid twice more than the amercian soildier shows the oil is worth more than the soildiers.i think russia and china will also attack thats why america is scared to attacj iran they could have flattened them along time ago buti gues they are also scared of the allies.remember george bush screaming iraq had weapons of mass destruction lol were is all these weapons did they finf any.any person that tellm me this is not about oil is blind folded trust me look at what mugabe did to the whites he literally and brutally flattened them out but did he get they say the biggest fuel is media they are here to blindfold.i dont see the americans pulling this one off even the israelies are too scared too attack just like iran the loud mouths threatend but there was no is now tense times cause this is not a walk in the park like irag and afghan iran has big allies that are will to stand to defend them

  • Ballito - 2012-01-03 11:07

    ok it seems every1 here knws alot did me a favour instaed of attacking the arabs the muslims and iraniains stop buying oil from all of the.tell the world not to deal with them.lets see how beeg ur balls is knw.and oh yes i wanna see the comments roll in.distance urself from the oil rich nations.

  • Wilfred - 2012-01-03 12:05

    people dont underestimate the iranians,i personal think one on one situation,nato gangsters wont match iran

  • Wilfred - 2012-01-03 12:07

    dont under estimate the iranians,cauz one on one situations the nato gangsters won't match iran

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