Iran has fired another round of long-range missiles, the second such
test in the past two days. The latest test firing came just hours
after a warning from the United States about such missile launches.
VOA's Sonja Pace has details from London.
Iran tested yet more
missiles overnight. Iranian state television showed pictures of
missiles streaking through the night sky. Iranian media said the test
launch included medium and long-range missiles and torpedoes. Reports
said the weapons were fired from ships in the Persian Gulf and from on
This was the second such test within two days. On
Wednesday Iran reported firing nine test missiles, including the
long-range Shahab-3, which it says has a range of 2,000 kilometers and
could reach Israel and other U.S. allies in the Middle East and South
Speaking during a visit to Tbilisi, Georgia U.S. Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice warned Iran that the United States will
defend itself and its allies.
"We will defend American
interests and we will defend the interests of our allies," she said.
"In the Gulf area, the United States has enhanced its security
capacity, its security presence and we are working closely with all of
our allies to make certain that they are capable of defending
themselves and we take very, very strongly our obligation to help our
allies defend themselves and no one should be confused about that."
commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards says the missile tests show
Tehran's strength against its "enemies." Iran has repeatedly said it
is prepared to guard against or retaliate harshly to attacks it says
Israel and the United States are planning against Iranian nuclear
Israel and the United States say no specific plans
are in the works, although both countries say all options remain on the
table to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
missile tests come after Israel held military exercises last month that
were widely seen as a practice run for a future attack on Iran's
Defense analyst Mark Fitzpatrick of London's
International Institute for Strategic Studies tells VOA the missile
tests are saber rattling.
"Israel had conducted a drill that
obviously was to perfect a bombing campaign against Iran's nuclear
establishment and made that public," he noted. "Iran wants to make
something public in return to demonstrate to the outside world, but
just as importantly to its own people that it has capabilities."
says Iran's missiles are not as accurate or powerful as Tehran would
like the world to believe. He also says pictures of Wednesday's
missile launch had been manipulated to hide the fact that one of the
missiles did not fire properly.
Still, Fitzpatrick says the
international community should be concerned about if and when Iran does
achieve nuclear weapons capability to use on those missiles.