Iran has staged a show of force and test-fired more missiles ahead of crucial talks about its nuclear ambitions. The muscle-flexing included rockets which may be able to hit Israel and the Gulf States, where America maintains a string of military bases. The exercise by the elite Revolutionary Guard further increases tension after last week’s disclosure that Tehran has a second, previously-unknown, uranium enrichment plant.
Today’s launches included the Shahab-3 whose range puts Jerusalem and US bases under threat. Israel is believed to be ready to order a pre-emptive strike to stop Tehran getting the bomb. “What the Zionist regime is planning stems from its fear,” said Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi. “If they attack us, it will mean the end of Israel.” The west is increasingly concerned about Iran’s belligerence and America and Israel have not ruled out military action. Russia, though, warned the world not to over-react to provocation. The major powers meet Iran on Thursday in the hope of calming the situtation.