Tehran said it will test-fire missiles in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, a move likely to stoke tensions with Washington already running high over Iran’s threats to close the strategic oil waterway if sanctions are enforced.
“Shorter- and longer-range, ground-to-sea, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles will be tested on Saturday,” the ISNA news agency quoted Iran’s navy spokesman, Commodore Mahmoud Mousavi, as saying on Friday.
Iran, which has been carrying out war games in the Strait of Hormuz over the past week, has said that “not a drop of oil” would pass through the strait if Western governments follow through with planned additional sanctions over its nuclear programme.
The US State Department said on Thursday that Iran’s threat to close the waterway, through which more than a third of the world’s tanker-borne oil passes, exhibited “irrational behavior” and “will not be tolerated.”
The naval manoeuvres launched by Iran in the strait on December 24 have so far included mine-laying and the use of aerial drones, according to Iranian media.
Analysts and oil market traders have been watching developments in and around the Strait of Hormuz carefully, fearing that the intensifying war of words between arch foes Tehran and Washington could spark open confrontation.
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