Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The NY Times reports that Iran says that it has successfully test fired a cruise missile during naval exercises near the Strait of Hormuz that have heightened tensions in a diplomatic standoff over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and that the surface-to-sea missile, known as the Qader, struck its targets with precision and destroyed them. Iran had previously announced that it intended to test a missile during the exercises, raising fears that it might try to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for tougher international sanctions. The Qader missile is said to be capable of striking warships at a range of about 125 miles, a distance that would include some American forces in the Gulf region as Iran is about 140 miles at its nearest point from Bahrain, where the US Fifth Fleet is based. Analysts say Iran's increasingly strident rhetoric, which has pushed oil prices higher, is aimed at sending a message to the West that it should think twice about the economic cost of putting further pressure on Tehran. "No order has been given for the closure of the Strait of Hormuz," Iran's state television quoted navy chief Habibollah Sayyari as saying. "But we are prepared for various scenarios.""
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