Iran Calls Off Long-Range Missile Tests in Persian Gulf
Tehran, 1 jan 2012: A senior Iranian navy commander has denied the country has already test-fired long-range missiles as part of military exercises in the Persian Gulf, but said it would do so in the next few days. Commander Mahmoud Mousavi rejected the claims that the Islamic Republic had fired the weapons that are capable of carrying nuclear warheads on Saturday. "The exercise of launching missiles will be carried out in the coming days," he added. Iran is currently holding 10 days of large-scale naval war games in the Gulf after threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial oil shipping lane, if the West imposes sanctions on its oil exports. According to Sky News, Iran's top nuclear negotiator said that the nation has proposed a new round of talks with six world powers about the programme. Saeed Jalili said he has formally called on the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany to return to the negotiating table with Iran. Iran's ambassador to Germany Ali Reza Sheikh Attar said Jalili was to send a letter to EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to arrange a new round of discussions. The European Union said it was open to meaningful talks with Tehran provided there were no preconditions.
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