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Iran to test missiles in key oil waterway

The 10 day exercise started December 24 and are due to end on Monday

Written by Press Trust Of India | Tehran | Published: January 1, 2012 2:13:58 am

Iran Saturday kept tensions simmering over its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil tankers by readying war game missile tests near the entrance to the Gulf.

“In the next few days,we will test-fire surface-to-sea,sea-to-sea,surface-to-air and shoulder-launched missiles,” Commodore Mahmoud Mousavi told state television in a live interview.

Iranian news agency,Fars,reported earlier that the tests had already begun using “long-range missiles” fired from the shore and from ships. The 10 day exercise started December 24 and are due to end on Monday.

Twenty per cent of the world’s oil moves through the Strait of Hormuz,at the entrance of the Gulf,making it the “most important chokepoint” globally,according to information released on Friday by the US Energy Information Administration.

Around 14 crude oil tankers per day pass through the narrow strait,carrying 17 million barrels. In all,35 per cent of all seaborne oil transited through there this year.

Iran has said that “not a drop of oil” would pass through the strait if West follow through with planned additional sanctions over its nuclear programme.

The US had called the threats “irrational behaviour” and said closure of the strait “will not be tolerated.”

‘Tehran to propose fresh nuclear talks’

Iran’s ambassador to Germany said Saturday his country will propose fresh talks with the six world powers,following the latest sanctions imposed by the West.

Ali Reza Sheikh Attar said Iran’s top nuclear negotiator,Saeed Jalili,will soon send a letter to EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to arrange fresh negotiations,Mehr news agency reported. He didn’t say when the letter would be sent. AP

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