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Iran to equip Gulf ships with missiles

Iran said it will soon equip its ships in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf with shorter-range missiles, warning the West not to attack over its disputed nuclear program.

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Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad waves before a family photo after the 11th Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Summit in Istanbul, on December 23, 2010. (MUSTAFA OZER/AFP/Getty Images)

Iran said it will soon equip its ships in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf with shorter-range missiles, warning the West not to attack over its disputed nuclear program.

The country has threatened to close off the Strait, which is the conduit out of the Gulf for 40 percent of the world's seaborne oil trade, if the West continues to block Iran's crude exports with its sanctions against its nuclear works, reported Reuters.

"We have already equipped our vessels with missiles with a range of 220 km (136 miles) and we hope to introduce missiles with a range of over 300 km (186 miles) soon," said Navy Admiral Ali Fadavi, according to Reuters. "We could target from our shores all areas in the Persian Gulf region, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman."

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He added that they are fully prepared for combat if they receive any military threats, reported the Tehran Times.

"Here, we determine the rules of the game and the playing field," he said.

On June 21, the Iranian Navy announced its plans to build more warships in order to increase its presence in international waters because of tension over Tehran's nuclear program, according to Trend News Agency. Navy commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said the ships would protect Iranian cargo ships around the world.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iran/120629/iran-equip-gulf-ships-missiles