Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Iran to hit Tel Aviv, U.S ships if attacked Jul 08, 2008

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An aide to Iran's Supreme Leader was quoted as saying on Tuesday the Islamic Republic would hit Tel Aviv, U.S. shipping in the Gulf and U.S. interests around the world if it was attacked over its nuclear activities.

State Press TV said the "highly advanced" missiles tested by the Guards included a "new" Shahab 3 missile, which officials have said could reach targets 2,000 km (1,250 miles) away.

The TV, which said the Shahab 3 carries a conventional warhead, showed images of missiles blasting off in the desert and leaving long vapor trails as they soared into the sky.

Other ground-to-ground missiles tested by naval and air units of the Guards were the Zelzal and Fateh, with respective ranges of 400 km and 170 km, state TV said.

Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if it comes under attack. About 40 percent of globally traded oil moves through the Gulf waterway.

Leaders of the Group of Eight rich countries expressed serious concern at the proliferation risks posed by Iran's nuclear program.

In a statement issued after G8 leaders met in Hokkaido, northern Japan, the grouping urged Tehran to suspend all uranium enrichment-related activities -- a step Iran has rejected.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said major world powers had decided to send European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana to Iran for talks on an incentives package they offered last month to induce Tehran to change its nuclear policy.

Sarkozy did not say when Solana would travel to Tehran. Iran formally replied on Friday to the offer by the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany.

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