PKONWEB Report (DUBAI): Iran successfully tested a cruise missile on Sunday near the Strait of Hormuz — a major oil shipping route, during war games involving 100 vessels off its southern coast, state media reported.
The missile test comes amid heightened tensions with the United States.
State news agency IRNA said a “Ghadir-class Iranian navy submarine successfully launched a cruise missile” on the third day of exercises.
Two more submarines have the same capability, it added.
Warships, helicopters and surveillance planes have also taken part in the drill, which ends later on Sunday.
Surface-to-surface missiles were launched on Saturday.
In August, Iran had test-fired a short-range anti-ship missile in the strait during naval drills. Washington said it believed were intended as a warning following President Donald Trump’s decision to reimpose sanctions on Tehran.
Trump pulled out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program last May and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.
Trump said the deal was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran’s development of ballistic missiles.
Iran has expanded its missile program, particularly its ballistic missiles.
Tehran says the program provides deterrent capabilities and is defensive.
The Velayat-97 drill which took place near the Strait of Hormuz is a major oil shipping route at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.
In a related development, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on Sunday accused “enemies” of the Islamic Republic of trying to sabotage the country’s missiles so that they would “explode mid-air” but said the bid was foiled.
“They tried as best as they could to sabotage a small part which we import so that our missiles would not reach their target and explode mid-air,” Fars news agency reported, quoting the Guards’ aerospace commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh.
Earlier this month The New York Times reported that the administration of US President Donald Trump was pushing a secret program aimed at sabotaging Iranian rockets and missiles.
It said Washington was trying to “slip faulty parts and materials into Iran’s aerospace supply chains” as part of a campaign to undercut Tehran’s military.
The USS John C Stennis entered the Gulf in December, ending a long absence of US aircraft carriers in the waterway.