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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

US Increases Security in Persian Gulf as Iran Tests More Missiles

By VOA News
10 July 2008

The United States says it has increased its security presence in the Persian Gulf, as Iran tests a barrage of missiles.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned Iran Thursday, that Washington will not hesitate to defend its interests or its allies against any aggression.

Speaking in Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, Rice said the U.S. is working closely with its allies to make sure they can defend themselves. She did not offer further details.

Iran tested missiles that could reach as far as Israel on Wednesday, then launched another round of medium and long-range missiles early Thursday.

Iran says the exercises show it can defend itself against an attack by Israel or the United States.

Israeli officials say they are concerned Iran's missiles could be equipped with nuclear warheads.

Israel has grown increasingly alarmed about Iran's nuclear program since late 2005, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened to wipe the Jewish state "off the map."

Israel has threatened a preemptive strike if sanctions fail to stop Iran's uranium enrichment, a key part of nuclear bomb making.

In a show of strength Thursday, Israel publicly displayed its newest spy plane equipped with sophisticated intelligence-gathering technology and electronic warfare systems.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but the U.S. and other Western countries worry Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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