2 Jan 2012

Iran tests new nuclear missile

8:15 am on 2 January 2012

Iran has defiantly announced it has tested a new missile and made an advance in its nuclear programme.

The developments have raised the stakes in the mounting confrontation with the United States, which has just announced fresh sanctions targetting Iran's central bank and financial sector, AFP reports.

There are fears if Iran is backed into a corner it could make good on threats to close the world's most important oil route - the Strait of Hormuz.

The Iranian navy announced on Sunday that, for the first time, an anti-radar medium-range missile had been successfully fired.

The Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation followed that up with its own announcement that its scientists had tested the first nuclear fuel rod produced from uranium ore deposits inside the country.