France has described Iran’s long-range cruise missile test as a “very bad signal to the international community.”
Iranian state television showed footage of the test firing on Monday. The missile is said to have a range of around 200km.
It is the latest sign of escalating tensions after Tehran threatened last week to close the Strait of Hormuz through which ten percent of the world’s oil is shipped if sanctions were placed on its crude exports.
In response, the United States imposed restrictions on financial institutions that deal with Iran’s central bank. The move has already dealt a severe blow to the value of the Islamic Republic’s currency.
Some defence analysts believe Iran is unlikely to carry out its threat to close the Strait because such action would be too costly.
But it appears Tehran wants to show it can defend itself as pressure also mounts over its disputed nuclear programme.
Meanwhile, the US is awaiting the verdict of an American citizen who allegedly confessed to being a spy. Amir Mirza Hekmati could face the death penalty if found guilty.