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Wed, Nov 12, 2008

Report: Iran Test-Fires Missile Near Iraq Border

Repeats Threats Against US Intrusion

There's more saber-rattling to report from the Mideast. On Tuesday, state-run media reported Iran test-fired a new short-range missile near that country's border with Iraq... a clear signal to the United States against any violation of Iranian airspace.

Reuters reports the Iranian-made Samen missile was tested Monday in the western border city of Marivan. Press TV, Iran's state-owned English language television station, added artillery and rocket launchers were also tested.

The tests come days after Iran threatened the US it would shoot down any unauthorized aircraft flying in Iranian airspace. On November 5 -- less than 24 hours after Barack Obama was elected president -- Iran claimed US helicopters had been seen flying close to the Iranian border, and said it would respond accordingly if any aircraft breached the border.

Analysts believe those threats came in response to a recent cross-border raid by US forces into Syria... but Iran's hostility towards the United States and its allies is nothing new. As ANN reported, in July the belligerent Islamic state fired several missiles into the Strait of Hormuz, an important strategic waterway used to transport some 40 percent of the world's oil supply.

Iran maintained those firings -- more "tests" -- were intended to send a message to Israel against a possible invasion. The US and Israel maintain Iran is working on nuclear weapons technology, and have not ruled out air strikes against Iran to thwart those plans.

That course of action is supported by current President George W. Bush, as well as incoming President Obama... though the latter has also pushed for a diplomatic resolution.

FMI: www.defenselink.mil

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