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Iran Guards Test Missiles During Gulf War Games

An Iranian ship test-fires Nasr 1 cruise missiles in March.
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's Revolutionary Guards test-fired five missiles today during war games in a waterway crucial for global oil supplies, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

The Islamic state, locked in a dispute with the West over its nuclear work, often announces advances in its military capabilities and tests weaponry in an apparent bid to show its readiness for any attack by Israel or the United States.

The Revolutionary Guards' exercises in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz coincided with rising tension between Iran and the West, which says Tehran's nuclear program is aimed at developing bombs. Iran denies the charge.

Last week, the Pentagon said U.S. military action against Iran remained an option even as Washington pursues diplomacy and sanctions to halt the country's atomic activities.

Fars said naval units of the Guards fired five missiles at a target, without making clear if they were new.

"Despite the different places from which the missiles were fired, they all hit the target simultaneously and completely destroyed it," Fars said.

The missiles were surface-to-surface and surface-to-sea.

On April 22, Iranian media said the Guards successfully tested a new speedboat capable of destroying enemy ships.

The United States is pushing for a fourth round of UN sanctions on Tehran over its refusal to halt sensitive nuclear activities as demanded by the UN Security Council, including proposed moves against members of the Guards.

Israel, widely believed to have the Middle East's only atomic arsenal, has described Iran's nuclear program as a threat to its existence and has not ruled out military action.

Iran, a predominantly Shi'ite Muslim state, has said it would respond to any attack by targeting U.S. interests in the region and Israel, as well as closing the Strait of Hormuz. About 40 percent of the world's traded oil leaves the Gulf region through the strategic narrows.