Iran Successfully Tests Medium-Range Missile

Shahab-3 fired entirely over Iran's own territory

According to US officials familiar with the situation, Iran successfully tested a Shahab-3 missile on Wednesday. The missile was fired from the country’s south toward an area near the capital of Tehran, and traveled about 600 miles.

Analysts say they believe the test of the medium-range ballistic missile by Iran is intended to improve its accuracy. At the same time, some Western officials are seeing the test as a provocation.

That’s because the test happened roughly in line with Britain announcing new naval operations in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz. This was a reaction to Iran seizing a British tanker last week, itself a reaction to Britain seizing an Iranian tanker on July 4.

There is no reason to think an Iranian missile test on Iranian territory is a huge deal, but US and British tensions against Iran means it is almost inevitable to be blown out of proportion, with the US likely to take the matter to the UN.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.