Iran test-fires ballistic missile for the first time in 2018, officials say
Iran carried out a ballistic missile test last week for the first time in 2018, US officials said late on Friday.
Iran test-fired a short-range anti-ship missile in the Strait of Hormuz during naval drills last week that Washington believes were aimed at sending a message as the United States reimposes sanctions on Tehran.
The US official, however, did not suggest that such a missile test was unusual during naval exercises or that it was carried out unsafely
The test of the Iranian Fateh-110 short-range ballistic missile was carried out during a naval exercise in which at least 50 small ships took part. The missiles flew “shore to shore” for more than 160 kilometers (100 miles) over the Strait of Hormuz to a site in the desert, according to news reports. The launch was detected by U.S. spy satellites.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps announced last weekend it had completed a “successful” naval exercise in the Persian Gulf.
The missile launch test is the first known test of the Fateh-110 in over a year. Last time such a missile was launched by Iran was in March, 2017.
U.S. Army General Joseph Votel, head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, said earlier this week the extent of the exercises were similar to ones Iran had carried out in the past. But the timing of recent exercises was designed to get Washington’s attention.
“It’s pretty clear to us that they were trying to use that exercise to send a message to us that as we approach this period of the sanctions here, that they had some capabilities,” Votel told reporters at the Pentagon.