Amid rising tensions, Iran tests Russian-built missile system

Iran says that it has successfully test-fired an S-300 air defense system, which has a range of up to 125 miles, as tensions between the United States and Iran continue to escalate.

Ebrahim Noroozi/AP/File
In this April 2016 photo, a long-range S-300 missile system is displayed by Iran's army during a parade marking National Army Day, in Tehran.

Iran says it has successfully tested a Russian-made long-range missile, stoking anxieties as tensions between the nation and the United States continue to climb.

A report Saturday from the official IRNA news agency claimed that Iran officials had successfully launched an S-300 System missile from in the nation’s central desert during military tests.

That system has a range of 125 miles and can track and hit multiple targets. Purchased in an $800 million deal, the Russian-crafted missile took 10 years to arrive after pressure from the US and Israel encouraged Russia to suspend its delivery.  

Relations between Iran and the US have improved slightly since the landmark nuclear deal in 2016. In exchange for relief from US sanctions, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program, easing fears that Iran could stage a devastating nuclear attack.

But ideological divides and tensions remain between the two nations, particularly pertaining to action in Syria’s brutal civil war and attendant humanitarian crisis.

And President Trump has aired criticism of the deal, a move that could further complicate the relationship. Last month, he put Iran “on-notice” after the country was reported to be testing a ballistic missile.

Meanwhile, his executive immigration order drew ire from the region after it moved to temporarily block immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations, including Iran, from entering the US. A federal court halted that order last month, but Mr. Trump signed a revised version Monday. The new directive allows for green card and visa holders from Iran to continue to travel to the US, but blocks applications from new immigrants.

News of the test came just as a fleet of Iranian fast-attack vessels tangled with a US Navy ship the same day. US officials say the Navy tracking ship, known as the USNS Invincible, was forced to shift its course after Iran guard vessels came within 600 yards of the ship and three accompanying British Royal Navy ships.

The officials said attempts to communicate with the Iranian ship were not returned, leading US officials to deem the encounter "unsafe and unprofessional."

"Well I don't know how much of a pattern it is, we actually had seen quite an improvement in Iran's behavior until recently," Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters of the incident.

The tense weekend followed the release of an Iranian animated movie "Battle of the Persian Gulf II," which depicts Iran battleships opening fire on a US vessel and destroying it in response to US involvement with the nation’s nuclear weapon program.

While the film is a fictionalized take on the relationship, the concept is drawn from animosity between the two countries.

"This is a response to hundreds of (anti-Iranian) American movies and video games," Farhad Azima, the film’s director, told the Associated Press, noting that the film's release accompanied escalating tensions between the two by coincidence. "We are saying that if you fire one bullet against Iran, a rain of hot lead will be poured on your forces."

This report contains material from the Associated Press and Reuters.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Amid rising tensions, Iran tests Russian-built missile system
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today