Forty days after the death of 19 sailors in a ballistic test in the Gulf of Oman, Iran again organized naval exercises in the same area and announced the successful launch of a new generation missile.

The naval exercises are frequent and are aimed at demonstrating the military capacity of the Islamic Republic in such a sensitive area, where 20 percent of the world’s crude oil is consumed.

The communiqué issued by the armed forces stated that during the manoeuvres baptised as the Martyrs of Ramadan, short and long range ballistic missiles were fired “with great precision” which “destroyed the targets assigned to them at 280 km and their range may be even greater”. Military commanders highlighted the “increasing cohesion between the armed forces and the local arms industry” and insisted that, despite the sanctions, the country remains capable of designing and producing new missiles and improving earlier versions.

On 10 May, the Iranian army again made a mistake in firing and at least 19 soldiers were killed and 15 injured when their ship was hit by friendly fire. This was the second accident in less than four months, after a Ukrainian plane with 176 passengers was shot down when it was mistaken for a U.S. missile near Tehran.

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