Iran Strait Hormuz

January 2, 2012 by staff 

Iran Strait HormuzIran Strait Hormuz, Iran test fired a surface-to-surface cruise missile Monday as part of ongoing war games in the Strait of Hormuz that come amid mounting international pressure and the threat of sanctions against the increasingly isolated regime.

The strait is the conduit for one-sixth of the world’s oil supply, and Tehran seems intent on demonstrating its ability to control the waterway.

The missile “successfully hit its intended target” during the test, according to a release from the IRNA news agency.

The 10-day naval drill is Tehran’s response to increasing criticism of the country’s nuclear program and reinforces Tehran’s threat that it could close the vital waterway altogether.

“The Strait of Hormuz is completely under our control,” Iran’s navy chief Adm. Habibollah Sayyari said after Monday’s test.

“We do not allow any enemy to pose threats to our interests.”

Christian Leuprecht, a professor at Queen’s University, told CTV News Channel the naval exercises are clearly intended as a show of force in the vital strait.

“Iran is trying to show they can control the strait and their waterways as well as any ships that go through it as well as any neighbours that might be trying to launch a retaliatory attack,” Leuprecht said.

Over the course of the exercises the navy has tested surface-to-surface, surface-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles with short to medium and long-range capabilities, Leuprecht said.

The exercises are a clear show of defiance against any international efforts to impose sanctions or an embargo as a nmeans of pressuring Iran to halt its nuclear efforts, he said.

“They’re trying to show that even in the face of sanctions Iran is able to run its own research and development program and is able to continue its own weapons manufacturing,” Leuprecht said. “To show sanctions aren’t going to stop Iran from defending itself and running its own weapons industry.”

The missile tested on Monday is called Ghader, which means capable in Farsi, and was an upgraded version of a missile that has already been in service.

The earlier version of the cruise missile had a range of 200 kilometres and could travel at low altitudes, The Associated Press reports.

Iran has said the missile is capable of destroying warships.

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