Iran test fires new missile amid rising tension with US and UK

Henry Austin
Iran displayed the domestically built mobile missile defence system Bavar-373, earlier this week: REUTERS

Iran has test fired a new missile, the commander of the country's Revolutionary Guards, has said.

"Our country is always the arena for testing a variety of defence and strategic systems and these are non-stop movements towards the growth of our deterrent power," Major General Hossein Salami, said, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

Without providing any information about the missile, he said it was "one of the successful days for this nation."

The launch comes less than 48 hours after Iran displayed what it described as a domestically built long-range, surface-to-air missile air defence system.

It comes amid rising tensions with the US, which has blamed Iran for attacks on oil tankers operating in the region.

Iran has also seized a number of tankers making their way through the Strait of Hormuz, including the British-flagged ship Stena Impero which remains in detention after it was taken last month in a commando style raid.

Tehran has announced it will soon exceed international agreed limits on its nuclear programme, while the US has stepped up sanctions on Tehran in order to curb its development of ballistic missiles and its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.

Last year, the US unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear activities and the two countries have been exchanging threats and warnings since then.

Tensions also rose when Iran shot down a US military surveillance drone in the Gulf with a surface-to-air missile in June, nearly setting off a conflict with the United States.

The Islamic Republic claimed the drone was over its territory, but Washington insisted it was in international airspace.

US president Donald Trump later said that he called off retaliatory attacks on three separate sites in Iran just 10 minutes before they were set to hit, after learning that they would kill 150 people.

"Iran can NEVER have nuclear weapons," Mr Trump tweeted afterwards.

Agencies contributed to this report

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