International News

TEHRAN, Iran —

War games this month showcased missiles with improved accuracy and firing capabilities, Iranian media reports said Friday, an apparent response to stepped up Western moves against Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards conducted the exercise in the central desert, firing ballistic missiles including a long-range variety meant to deter an Israeli or U.S. attack. The targets were models of foreign military bases, and the stated goal was to show that Iran’s missiles can hit Western bases and Israel.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed several rounds of economic sanctions on Iran, aimed at persuading Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program. The sanctions have hit Iran’s economy, but its leaders have refused to scale down the nuclear program.

In the latest step, The European Union put a ban against purchase of Iranian oil in force on July 1. EU purchases accounted for 18 percent of Iran’s oil exports.

Several Iranian news websites reported Friday that 90 percent of the missiles hit their targets and said this showed their increased accuracy.

Another achievement, the reports said, was Iran’s capability of firing multiple missiles within seconds. The media reports said this would create a challenge for the U.S. or Israel to intercept incoming missiles should a war break out.

Iran has a variety of missiles. including a Shahab-3 variant with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) that can reach Israel and southern Europe. The missiles, which can carry a nuclear warhead, are also capable of hitting U.S. bases in the region.

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