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Iran military manoevres raise concerns in Middle East


Iran military manoevres raise concerns in Middle East

Tension is continuing to rise in the Middle East ahead of a planned inspection of Iran’s nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency next week.

Iranian state TV has shown pictures of what it says are recent military exercises in central Iran.

Fears that the country’s nuclear programme is aimed at developing nuclear weapons led to a decision by the EU to stop importing crude oil from Iran from July 1.

But on Sunday a spokesman on the state’s oil ministry website was reported to have said that Iran has already halted sales to French and British companies. Earlier the ministry had denied Iranian media reports that it had stopped selling crude to six other EU countries.

Meanwhile in a move seen as provocative by Israel, two Iranian warships are reported to have docked in the Syrian port of Tartous after sailing through the Suez canal.

It is only the second time the Iranian navy has entered the Mediterranean Sea since 1979. The move has raised fears of a further destabilisation in the region.