Adding to an already tense climate, Iran this week test-fired several missiles, including a long-range missile capable of reaching Israel, in what Iranian officials called a response to U.S. and Israeli threats. The firings occurred near the Straits of Hormuz, through which 40 percent of the world’s oil is shipped, and come on the heels of an Israeli military exercise widely viewed as preparation for a possible attack on Iran. Among the Iranian missiles was a Shahab-3, which can reach Tel Aviv.
The U.S. swiftly condemned the launch; senior State Department official William Burns called Iran “as serious a problem as any we face today.” Iran’s exercise took place amid mounting tensions among the U.S., Israel, and Iran over Iran’s nuclear program. Leaders of all three countries have said they seek a peaceful resolution, but Iranian Gen. Hussein Salami said this week that Iran’s enemies “have to know that our finger is always on the trigger.”