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Iran Test-Fires Latest Surface-to-Air Missile, Fars Says

Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Iran “successfully” test-fired a surface-to-air-missile on the fourth day of a military drill around the Strait of Hormuz, the state-run Fars news agency reported, citing a military official.

The locally-built Rahd missile is the Iranian naval forces’ latest such missile, said Commander Rear Admiral Amir Rastegar, a spokesman for the exercise, according to Fars.

The drill covers a large area extending to the Sea of Oman and the north of the Indian Ocean and is aimed at “displaying the readiness of armed and naval forces to defend Iran’s waterway and national interests,” Iranian Navy Commander Habibollah Sayari said four days ago. The exercise will involve testing defensive and missile systems, combat vessels and submarines, military officials have said.

Iran is entangled in a conflict with western powers over its nuclear program, which they allege may be aimed at developing atomic weapons, a charge the Persian Gulf country rejects. Israel has said “all options are on the table,” including a military offensive, to stop Iran from building a bomb.

The Strait of Hormuz between Iran and Oman is a transit point for about 20 percent of the world’s traded oil, which Iranian officials have at times threatened to close down if their country’s national security were to be put in jeopardy.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Dubai at lnasseri@bloomberg.net; Yeganeh Salehi in Tehran at yalehi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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