Iran has fired a second missile during its military exercises, causing some to fear that Israel and United States bases could be targets.
In an announcement earlier this morning, Iran stated that it had fired a second long-range missile capable of hitting Israel and U.S. bases, if threatened. Iran’s Deputy Navy Commander Mahmoud Mousavi told reporters: “We have test-fired a long-range short-to-sea missile called Qader (capable), which managed to successfully destroy predetermined targets in the Gulf.”
The firing of Qader comes during Iran’s military drills in the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway that provides for the shipping of the world’s oil. Iran has threatened to close the Strait should the U.S. or any ally attack the country.
Mousavi also stated: “The highly advanced Qader missile system has been upgraded in terms of its radar, satellite communications, precision in target destruction, as well as range and radar-evading mechanism.”
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have reached new levels in light of the military exercises. The U.S. depends on the Strait of Hormuz for delivery of its oil; prices soared throughout the nation at the start of military exercises, rising by $97 per barrel.
Iranian Parliament Member Parviz Sarvari told reporters: “If the world wants to make the region insecure, we will make the world insecure.”
Habibollah Sayyari, Iran’s Navy Chief told Iranian state television, “No order was given for the closure of the Strait of Hormuz. But we are prepared for various scenarios.”
The U.S. and United Nations have imposed sanctions against Iran due to its growing nuclear program, though the U.S. alone has imposed strict sanctions, citing human rights abuses and support for terrorism. In 1980, students attacked the American Embassy in Tehran in the Islamic Revolution; relations soured between the countries and have been tense ever since.
The U.S. Navy issued a response to the military exercises last week, stating: “Anyone who threatens to disrupt freedom of navigation in an international strait is clearly outside the community of nations; any disruption will not be tolerated.”
Fifth Fleet spokeswoman Lieutenant Rebecca Rebarich added that the Navy “is always ready to counter malevolent actions to ensure freedom of navigation.”