17:58 GMT +326 March 2017
    Iranian navy fires a Mehrab missile during the Velayat-90 naval wargames in the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran (file)

    Why Iran's Cruise Missile Test Near Strait of Hormuz is 'Annoying' Signal for US

    © AFP 2017/ EBRAHIM NOROOZI / Jamejamonline
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    The Iranian naval forces have tested a ground-based anti-ship cruise missile during drills. Russian military expert Viktor Litovkin told Radio Sputnik about the significance of the missile test and why Washington is concerned over Tehran's drills in the Indian Ocean.

    The Iranian military has tested a brand new Nasir cruise missile during large-scale naval drills in the Indian Ocean that took place from February 26 until March 1. Commenting on the launch, Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan said that the cruise missile has hit the specified target with maximum precision.

    The final stage of Iran's Velayat 95 drills took place in the Strait of Hormuz, the Sea of Oman and North of the Indian Ocean. The area of the drills covered two million square kilometers (over 770,000 square miles).

    Various naval units, including submarines, missile-launching destroyers, surface and subsurface units, missile and electronic warfare systems, drones, fighter jets and marines took part in the military exercises. Missile tests, intelligence operations, deployment of submarines and rescue operations were conducted as part of the drills, involving a range of naval equipment including submarines and helicopters manufactured in Iran.

    The Velayat 95 drills are the last in a series of military exercises, which were announced in June 2016 by the Iranian Navy. The Nasir missile can be placed on ships, submarines, aircraft and self-propelled coastal complexes.

    Military expert and retired Colonel Viktor Litovkin said in an interview with Radio Sputnik that the Iranian missile has been in  mass-production since the beginning of 2010.

    "It's difficult to call the missile brand new; it [Nasir] is quite well-known. This cruise anti-ship missile can be launched not only from surface vessels, but from submarines and jets. This time it has been tested from ground-based complexes. Its flight-range is up to 35 kilometers. The missile can track the landscape and acquire targets based on information from an inertial navigation system. They [the Iranians] added laser guidance. And this is a premier," Litovkin said.

    He added that the Iranian Navy is participating in the large-scale drills near the Strait of Hormuz, a strategically important "oil corridor" through which lies the main shipping route of Middle Eastern oil export. That's why the drills concern the United States, the expert believes.

    "Iran wants to be the dominant country in the Middle Eastern region. Iran has 'an axe to grind' against the US allies [in the region], Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Israel. This annoys the US. Iran conducts exercises near the Strait of Hormuz where oil tankers belonging to the US replenish the supply of fuel. Iran, therefore, demonstrates that it can block this area at any time. Moreover, American warships are always in the Persian Gulf area, where a major US military base is located. Iranian boats have repeatedly approached American frigates and destroyers signaling an attack. Americans don't enjoy it," he explained.

    The US has already expanded sanctions against Tehran over Iran's missile program, Litovkin continued. However, in his opinion, after the current cruise missile test, no sanctions will follow from the international community.

    "The UN Security Council resolution [on Iran's nuclear deal] doesn't mention cruise missiles; it's about ballistic missiles. The Nasir is not the type of the rocket a UNSC meeting could be convened," he concluded.

    Iran's naval drills come amid an escalation of tensions with the new US administration. After the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, Washington-Tehran tensions escalated amid Iran's ballistic missile test and the new US sanctions against Iran. Moreover, Trump has repeatedly criticized the Iran nuclear agreement, saying that it is a "bad deal" and "disastrous for Israel."

    In addition, the exercises come after reports emerged suggesting that the US had allegedly proposed Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan and Egypt to form a US-backed defense pact which would share intelligence with Israel and counter Iran's influence in the region.


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    cruise missile, military drills, Strait of Hormuz, Iran, United States
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    • avatar
      If it's against the terrorist American government then I'm all for it. Go Iran.
    • Capt'nSkippy !!!
      Going to be NOTHING but a sh-it fight if they form this so called pact. Its all military and doomed to fail irrelevant of the US!!! Now with the restoring of Syrias sovereignty, these festering third world garbage in the M.E. are coercing for there own agendas. There whole hope of initiative is that the US will follow suit? But for them to contend against the bear they need to be very wary of who does what and when? The accomplishment of Russia in Syrian was very minimal to a all out confrontation that they wish not to see!!! Trumps thinking of ANY military involvement with these war criminals and terrorists would not hold to interests of the US, unless it was a fascist neocon . It will be interesting if it eventuates BUT more so the consequences if it does?
    • avatar
      amin rshd
      Long Live Iran, land of gods
    • Mikhas
      Anything that can sink the entire US fleet, stationed in right across Bahrain with carriers and all, is of course both "annoying " but most certainly "worrying" .

      With Russian Sunburn missiles like P-800 Oniks/Yakhont and it's Iranian counterparts US navy are practically sitting ducks and the Iranian have been practising for years, incl. on a real size replica of a US carrier....
    • avatar
      this Missile "Nasir" is brand new and there is no any info about it, Russian expert has mistook the Nasir for Nasr which has a range of 35km.
    • avatar
      Iran has build up there military fore on land sea and air! the leaders of Iran has done that with common cense without throwing money out a mass !!!
      There are not more depending on other country's that a lot !!! There develop most them self!!! Not for to destroy the World but for to destroy any attacking country's army/navy!!!
    • avatar
      We the people are supposedly having all these conflicts with Iran, Iran wants to conquer the world, wants to destroy the USA, wants to destroy NATO, wants a Nuclear War with the world, but the Banker King's Corporations, like Shell Oil, no problemo. The Corporations have no problems with Iran, the owner's of the corporation's, just keep getting richer, selling us swords, knives, guns and oil, as their paid for government representatives keep us on the edge of our seats, keep us people at each others throat's, keeping us poor, keeping us in the dark (ages), keeping us spending all our wealth on their military hardware. WHAT A RACKET! Yeah, right, the Leadership, has no idea about any of this, the Leadership is just a bunch of good old Christian country folk, wanting to do what is right for -the people, wanting to please -god...never think, they are doing all this war mongering for their own monetary benefit or to insure their re-election, no, no, no, it is for us that they stay awake at night, that they wring their hand's until bloody, that they sacrifice their children's public education for an Ivy league Education, fully paid for by the people they 'represent.' Oh, dear, lord, Mr. Congressman, protect us, from those mean old Iranians.
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