By Fredrik Dahl www.Reuters.com
Iran has test-fired a new type of missile during war games near the Iraqi border, state television said Tuesday Nov 11, after warning the United States it would respond to any violation of Iranian airspace.
The English-language Press TV said the Iranian-made missile, named the Samen, was successfully tested Monday by the elite Revolutionary Guards in the western border city of Marivan.
They also tested artillery and rocket launchers, Press TV said on its website.
Iran’s armed forces have staged frequent maneuvers in recent months, coinciding with speculation of possible U.S. or Israeli strikes against the Islamic Republic over its disputed nuclear ambitions.
In a move that further heightened tension, Iran in July test-fired nine highly advanced missiles, including one which reportedly could reach Israel and U.S. bases in the Middle East.
Iran’s army last week said U.S. helicopters had been seen flying close to Iran’s border and that it would respond to any violation, a message analysts said seemed directed at U.S. President-elect Barack Obama more than at American troops in Iraq.
The November 5 statement followed a cross-border raid last month by U.S. forces into Syria, an action that was condemned by Damascus and Tehran.
The United States and its Western allies suspect Iran is seeking to build atomic bombs, a charge Tehran denies.
Obama, like outgoing U.S. President George W. Bush, has not ruled out military action although he has criticized the outgoing administration for not pushing for more diplomacy and engagement with Iran.
Iran has said it would respond to any attack on its territory by targeting U.S. interests and Washington’s ally Israel, as well as closing the Strait of Hormuz, a vital route for world oil supplies.