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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran tests new anti-ship missile in Gulf of Oman - TV

RIA Novosti

07/12/2008 13:41 TEHRAN, December 7 (RIA Novosti) - Iran has test-launched a new anti-ship missile as part of large-scale naval exercises in the Gulf of Oman, Iranian television said on Sunday.

The new missile, called Nasr-2 (Victory-2), was launched on Saturday in the Gulf of Oman close to the border with Pakistan. The missile, developed by the Iranian defense ministry's specialists, was launched from a warship and hit the target at a distance of 30 km (19 miles), the Iranian television said.

Over 60 warships, as well as other military hardware and equipment, are involved in a large-scale naval exercise, code-named Unity-87, that will last through December 7.

Iranian Deputy Navy Commander Adm. Qasem Rostamabadi earlier said the aim of the exercises was to "increase the level of readiness of Iran's naval forces and also to test and to use domestically-made naval weaponry," and also to "enhance the country's deterrence capability."

According to national media, the Iranian navy has developed "exclusive" military equipment such as stealth micro submarines and lightweight aircraft in an effort to maintain the sovereignty and integrity of the country's coastal waters.

Iran is also believed to possess one of the largest ballistic missile forces in the developing world.

Iran has launched a domestic weapons procurement campaign aimed at improving its defense capabilities and has announced the development of 109 types of advanced military equipment over the past two years.

Tehran has conducted several high-profile war games this year, while promising to strike back hard in the event of any attack, including closing off the Strait of Hormuz, through which over 25% of the world's oil passes.

There has been speculation that the United States or Israel might launch air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities. Washington and Tel Aviv have consistently refused to rule out military action against Iran over its refusal to halt its controversial nuclear program. Iran says it needs the program for power generation.



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