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Surface-to-sea missile could target U.S. ships in the Gulf

Iran is one of the nations of the Middle East that much of the world watches closely. The country has a history of threats on those in its region and has been working to build its military might including a uranium enrichment program that has led to sanctions by the U.S. and other countries.
 
Iran has now announced that it has tested a new naval cruise missile in the Strait of Hormuz. The missile test was conducted during the final day of a 10-day military maneuver. The missile is called the Qader and it is a surface-to-sea weapon designed to destroy enemy ships. Iranian Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi said that the missile struck the intended target with precision and destroyed the target.
 

[Source: Vancouver Sun]

Iran offered the first glimpse of the missile in August of last year reports the NYT. The weapon is said to have a range of 125 miles, which would allow Iran to target some of the U.S. ships that are operating in the Gulf region. While some officials in the Iranian government have in the past threatened to disrupt shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, Mousavi has denied that the exercises have anything to do with such a blockage. The narrow Strait is a vital shipping lane for oil.
 
Admiral Mousavi said, "We won’t disrupt traffic through the Strait of Hormuz. We are not after this."
 
The firing of the Qader missile isn’t the only weapons test that occurred during the exercises. The Iranian Navy also tested a short-range surface-to-air missile called Mehrab. The Iranian state news agency IRNA quotes Admiral Habibollah Sayari of the Iranian Navy saying, "[These military exercises promote] peace and friendship for all countries in the region." He also said that the exercises send a message that foreigners had no room in the region reports the NYT.
 
Iran also recently claimed to have forced a U.S. drone to land where it wanted using a GPS hack.

Source: NYT



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By Solandri on 1/3/2012 6:46:33 PM , Rating: 2
Germany and Italy are both NATO members. So are the UK and Spain. During the Cold War, Germany was literally at the front line, bordering East Germany, so a NATO base there was a given. Bases are in Italy and the UK for similar reason. Whereas Germany was the front line, Italy was shielded by the Alps, and the UK by the Channel. This made them more defensible positions and thus good choices for secondary bases. Spain is at the Western end of Europe, so geographically represented the location of any "last stand" on continental Europe against a Soviet advance.

The bases are there with the assent of the host countries. France for example withdrew from the military arm of NATO and requested all foreign troops depart by 1967. That's when the U.S. closed its bases in France and left. If Germany, Italy, Spain, or the UK wanted U.S. troops out, all they'd have to do is ask. The U.S. would probably try to sweeten the pot to remain, like they offered Turkey a couple billion to be able to use the base there during the Iraq war. But the decision is ultimately up to the host country (Turkey declined).


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