Iran Test Fires Two Medium-Range Missiles
Earlier, government officials warned that Iran could close off the Strait of Hormuz, a body of water where 20 percent of the world’s oil travels through.
The Qader missile has a range of 200 kilometers and could reach US bases in the region.
An excerpt from the Christian Science Monitor has more on the missile:
“Although Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he will respond with “strength” to any new sanctions, there is some skepticism about how strong a response he can afford. Though Iran says it’s not being hurt by the sanctions, its currency has lost 53 percent of its value against the dollar over the past year. If Iran closed of the Strait of Hormuz in response to sanctions, Agence France-Presse reports that it would risk hurting its economy even further, losing the support of China and Russia, and starting an open war with the US.”
In addition to the missile launch, the Iranian government also announced its nuclear program had produced a nuclear fuel rod for the first time.
According to Bloomberg:
“The domestically made rod was inserted into the core of Tehran’s atomic research reactor after performance tests, the Iranian Students News Agency reported, citing the country’s atomic energy agency. The Tehran reactor produces radioisotopes for cancer treatment, according to Mehr news agency.”
Both moves, the missile launch and fuel rod production, concern the international community. The United States initiated a new set of sanctions on Dec. 31 and the European Union will decide by Jan. 30 whether to impose sanctions on Iranian oil.
For their part, the Iranian government has requested a return to the six-party nuclear talks.
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