Iran tests underwater missile as world tension mounts

Iran tested a super-fast underwater missile Sunday as tension between Tehran and the West mounted.

Iran announced its second major weapons test in a week Sunday, saying it had successfully fired a high-speed underwater missile capable of destroying huge warships and submarines.

The Iranian-made missile has a speed of about 350 kilometres an hour underwater, claimed Gen. Ali Fadavi, deputy head of the navy.

If those claims are true, it would rival the Russian-made VA-111 Shkval missile, developed in 1995, which can travel three or four times faster than a torpedo.

"It has a very powerful warhead designed to hit big submarines," Fadavi told Iranian television. "Even if enemy warship sensors identify the missile, no warship can escape from this missile because of its high speed."

He did not say whether the missile contained a nuclear warhead.

Uranium enrichment issue fuels tension

Iran last week also test-fired an airborne Fajr-3 missile, which has multiple warheads and can avoid radars.

The Iranian military exercises came at a time of increasing tension between Iran and the West over Tehran's uranium enrichment activities.

The United States and the European Union believe Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, but Tehran says its experiments are for generating much-needed electrical power.

The UN Security Council has demanded that Iran halt its uranium enrichment activities. But Tehran has refused, saying its activities are "not reversible."

Speaking on CNN, Aliasghar Soltaniyeh, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, said the United Nations should stay out of the process.

"The more the United Nations Security Council is engaged and involved, the situation will be further deteriorated. And we have to prevent confrontation," he told CNN.