ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps has successfully test-fired a naval missile, the semi-official news agency Tasnim said on Thursday, a move likely to heighten concern in Washington, whose warship operate in the waters near Iran.
Tasnim said the missile, called the Hormuz 2, could destroy moving targets at sea at ranges up to 300 km (180 miles). The missile was built in Iran, Tasnim said.
“The naval ballistic missile called Hormuz 2 this week has successfully destroyed a target which was 250 km away,” said Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Force, according to Tasnim.
The missile test is the latest event in a long-running rivalry between Iran and the United States in and around the Strait of Hormuz, which guards the entrance to the Gulf. About 20 percent of the world’s oil passes through the waterway, which is less than 40 km wide at its narrowest point.
Most recently, several Iranian fast-attack boats came within 600 yards (550 meters) of the USNS Invincible, a tracking ship, forcing it to change direction.
A Revolutionary Guards commander told Iranian state media on Wednesday that it was the fault of the U.S. ship, warning the United States of the “irreversible consequences of such unprofessional actions”.
In January, a U.S. destroyer fired three warning shots at four Iranian fast-attack boats near the Strait after they closed in at high speed and disregarded repeated requests to slow down.
Writing by Parisa Hafezi, editing by Larry King