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Iran raises the stakes in the Gulf

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Iran raises the stakes in the Gulf


Tension is rising in the Persian Gulf after Iran once again tested long-range missiles and a senior army officer warned the US to keep its aircraft carriers out of the region.

The warning, reported by the semi-official Fars news agency, did not name the American vessel but claimed it had left the area due to Iranian naval exercises taking place in the Gulf over the past ten days.

The officer did not specify what action Iran would take should the carrier return, but he claimed the military drills proved Iran was completely in control of the Strait of Hormuz. The Iranians have threatened to close down the channel if any sanctions affect its oil exports.

Opinion was divided on the streets of the capital Tehran. One man said, “the youth of Iran will not allow oppressors to violate the borders of our country.”

However others were more conciliatory, like one Tehranian who said:

“Iranians don’t like war. We’ve already had eight years of war against Iraq and we can’t withstand another one. Iran should have talks with other countries to try to avoid a war.”

Iran has indicated that it is willing to enter into new talks over its nuclear programme which it claims is for purely peaceful purposes. But the West thinks they could be trying to develop nuclear weapons.

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