Iran test-fires a ballistic missile in dramatic ratcheting of tensions in the Gulf 

Mail Online | 7/26/2019 | Chris Pleasance for MailOnline
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Iran has test-fired a ballistic missile amid sky-high tensions around the Persian Gulf.

The Shahab-3 missile was fired Wednesday from southern Iran and flew for 680miles before landing east of Tehran, without straying outside of Iranian territory.

Officials - Site - Test - Time - Missile

American military officials said they had been monitoring the launch site ahead of the test, and that at no time did the missile pose a threat to US shipping or bases.

The test is thought to have been designed to improve the 'range and accuracy' of Iran's ballistic missiles.

Tensions - Persian - Gulf - Tankers - US

But it comes amid sky-high tensions around the Persian Gulf - which has seen tankers attacked, a US military drone blasted out of the sky, and a British tanker seized by the Revolutionary Guard.

The US claims to have downed two Iranian drones - claims that Tehran has denied - and President Trump almost launched air strikes against the country but called them off at the last minute.

Stena - Impero - Tanker - Iran - Week

The UK-flagged Stena Impero tanker was impounded by Iran last week after British Royal Marines seized an Iranian vessel off Gibraltar earlier in the month.

Iran has said that it could be willing to trade the two tankers, while Britain has said it will not release the Iranian vessel until it has assurances that it will not travel to Syria in violation of EU sanctions.

Thursday - UK - Prime - Minister - Boris

On Thursday, new UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered Royal Navy warships to escort British-flagged tankers through the Strait of Hormuz after ripping up Theresa May's Iran policy.

The Union Jack-flagged Stena Important was watched over by HMS Montrose today as the frigate imposed herself on the dangerous waters in the Strait of Hormuz.

Policy - U-turn - Mr - Johnson - Day

The policy U-turn was announced on Mr Johnson's first full day as Prime Minister after Mrs May's government claimed it lacked the resources to protect ships.

Shahab-3 is not a new missile design, and has...
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