Iran’s senior navy commander has denied state media reports that the Islamic Republic test-fired long-range missiles during a naval drill, saying the missiles will launch in the next few days.
Mahmoud Mousavi told Iran’s English-language Press TV “the exercise of launching missiles will be carried out in the coming days.”
The semi-official Fars news agency, Press TV and the state-run IRNA news agency had earlier reported that Iran had test-fired long-range and other missiles during the exercise on Saturday.
“All kinds of surface-to-sea, sea-to-sea and surface-to-air as well as shoulder-launched missiles will be tested in the coming days,” Mr Mousavi told Press TV.
The 10-day naval drill, which began last Saturday, coincided with increased tension in Iran’s nuclear row with Western powers, after the European Union said it was considering a ban – already in place in the United States – on imports of Iranian oil.
Tehran says the drill is aimed at showing Iran’s resolve to counter any attack by enemies such as Israel or the United States.
The United States and Israel have not ruled out a military option if diplomacy fails to resolve the nuclear dispute with Iran.
Washington and its allies say Iran wants to build nuclear bombs under the cover of a civilian program of uranium enrichment – a claim Tehran denies.