Iran follows EU oil embargo with missile test

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Iran follows EU oil embargo with missile test

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Iran has test-fired a series of ballistic missiles including some that said were capable of reaching Israel and US bases in the region.

They were part of military exercises designed to demonstrate Tehran’s capacity to respond when under attack.

Tehran’s foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast commented on the exercises, saying the greater the country’s readiness to defend its territory, the better the security and stability for the whole region.

The drill follows an EU embargo on imports of Iranian crude oil which came into effect on Sunday, designed to put pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme.

In retaliation for the sanctions, Iran has renewed its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, a vital channel through which a fifth of the world’s oil supply passes.

Washington has said it will not tolerate such a move. It has begun imposing measures against Iran’s central bank and foreign institutions that work with it.

Tehran’s missile launches are seen as acts of defiance to show that it is not perturbed by sanctions.

Negotiations since April between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany, have failed to bring agreement on curbing Tehran’s nuclear programme.