Photo Credit: Wiki Commons
Pictured: A launch of an Iranian Emad missile -- a precision-guided, intermediate-range ballistic missile. (Image source:

This report was filed in New York prior to the start of the holy Sabbath.

Iran test-fired a short-range anti-ship ballistic missile last week during its naval exercises in the Strait of Hormuz, a U.S. official told reporters Friday in Washington DC.

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It is believed the Iranians were sending the United States a message in response to the sanctions that were reimposed on Tehran, Reuters reported.

The scope and scale of the naval drills held in the waterway were similar to ones carried out by Iran in the past, according to U.S. Army General Joseph Votel, head of the U.S. Central Command, who spoke with reporters earlier in the week.

But the timing of the exercises was clearly aimed at getting the attention of the White House. “It’s pretty clear to us that they were trying to use that exercise to send a message to us that as we approach this period of the sanctions here, that they had some capabilities,” Votel said during a briefing at the Pentagon.

“We are aware of what’s going on, and we remain ready to protect ourselves as we pursue our objectives of freedom of navigation and the freedom of commerce in international waters,” Votel said in response to a question about the possibility of Iran blocking Gulf oil exports that are shipped through the Strait of Hormuz.

Likewise, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised the possibility that Iran might also be considering an attempt to block the Bab al Mandeb waterway, another strategic maritime oil route, which has been threatened by Arab nations during past conflicts with Israel.

Netanyahu warned that such an attempt would likely be met by an international coalition to open the waterway, together with Israel and “all its arms.”

This report was filed in New York prior to the start of the holy Sabbath.

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