Iran test-fires ballistic missile amid increased tensions with US

Despite the distance it traveled, the Shahab-3 missile reportedly did not pose a threat to shipping or U.S. bases.

By World Israel News Staff 

Amid an already charged atmosphere between Iran and the west, Tehran on Wednesday successfully test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile which flew more than 600 miles from the southern part of the country to an area outside the capital, Tehran, in the north, a U.S. official told Fox News.

Despite the distance it traveled, the Shahab-3 missile did not pose a threat to shipping or U.S. bases, according to a Pentagon official cited by The Sun, a British news website.

Iran is believed to have tested the medium-range missile to improve the “range and accuracy” of its weapons, said the British news outlet.

News of the missile test came after Britain’s new prime minister Boris Johnson ordered the Royal Navy to accompany all British-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz, it added.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard seized a U.K.-registered oil tanker last Friday.

President Hassan Rouhani suggested on Wednesday that Iran might free the ship if Britain takes similar steps to release an Iranian oil tanker seized by the British Royal Navy off Gibraltar earlier this month.

In addition to the tensions at sea, Iran has been violating the nuclear accord it reached in 2015 with six world powers, including the U.S. Obama administration.

Tehran announced that it was enriching uranium above the level permitted by the nuclear deal due to a lack of European action to save the pact after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the accord in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

On Monday, the director-general of the anti-spy department at Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence announced that 17 CIA-trained spies had been identified and arrested in Iran, according to the Iranian ISNA news agency, which also cited the senior official as saying that some of the spies had been sentenced to death.