(TEHRAN, Iran) — Iran test-fired a surface-to-surface cruise missile on Monday during a drill that the country’s navy chief said proved Tehran was in complete control of the strategic Strait of Hormuz—the passageway for one-sixth of the world’s oil supply.
The missile, called Ghader, or Capable in Farsi, was described as an upgraded version of a missile that has been in service before. The official IRNA news agency said the missile “successfully hit its intended target” during the exercise.
An earlier version of the same cruise missile had a range of 124 miles (200 kilometers) and could travel at low altitudes. There were suggestions it could counter the U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf.
Iran’s 10-day navy drill, which ends Tuesday, was Tehran’s latest show of strength in the face of mounting international criticism over its nuclear program.
“The Strait of Hormuz is completely under our control,” Iran’s navy chief Adm. Habibollah Sayyari said after Monday’s test. “We do not allow any enemy to pose threats to our interests.”
State TV showed footage Monday depicting the launch of two missiles, which were fired into the sky and which the TV said could hit targets “hundreds of kilometers (miles) away” from the point of origin. The broadcast said two more missiles, with a shorter range, were also tested Monday.
“We conducted the drill … to let everybody know that Iran’s defense and deterrence powers on the open seas and the Strait of Hormuz are aimed at defending our borders, resources and our nation,” said Sayyari, the navy chief.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Angela Dewan and Max Blau, CNN
Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
Barbara Starr, CNN