DOD: Iranian missile test claim bogus

What missile test? Pentagon officials tell the E-Ring they have no reason to believe that Iran conducted any missile tests in the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday, rejecting a claim made by Iranian state television.   "We have seen the reports and cannot confirm any of the reporting that came out today in the Iranian ...

By , a former staff writer at Foreign Policy.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Sunderman/ Released
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Sunderman/ Released
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Sunderman/ Released

What missile test? Pentagon officials tell the E-Ring they have no reason to believe that Iran conducted any missile tests in the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday, rejecting a claim made by Iranian state television.
 
"We have seen the reports and cannot confirm any of the reporting that came out today in the Iranian Press TV but recommend you talk to the Iranians," said Lt. Col. Jack Miller, Defense Department spokesman for Middle East policy.
 
CNN and other outlets reported earlier in the day that Press TV, Iran's state-run news agency, reported firing four missiles into the Persian Gulf and successfully hit a ship-sized target. According to CNN's account of the original broadcast, the source of the information was Iranian Navy Cmdr. Rear Adm. Ali Fadavi.
 
If that were true, it would be a highly provocative act. The U.S. is in the middle of leading a major multinational countermine exercise in the Gulf with ships from dozens of nations crowding the seas.
 
Reporters earlier on Tuesday asked Pentagon press secretary George Little for his reaction to the initial news of the tests, and Little said, "Any provocative action undertaken by the Iranians is obviously of concern. ...I don't think that this particular event is ringing major alarm bells at this stage, but we take it seriously nonetheless. I would simply appeal to all parties in the region to not engage in provocative actions or actions that could be construed as provocative."
 
But within hours, the Pentagon said it had checked with all possible sources in the field and nobody in the U.S. military could confirm any test ever happened.
 
It's the second time this week, at least, that Iranian TV has broadcast bluster at the Pentagon. With a public spat between Israel and the U.S. over when and if to strike Iran's nuclear program, Iran's Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh said it would retaliate by hitting U.S. military bases in the region.
 
"Incendiary rhetoric is never helpful from the Iranians," Little said. "We view it as rhetoric at this stage. Obviously we stand ready to protect American personnel in the Gulf region."
 

What missile test? Pentagon officials tell the E-Ring they have no reason to believe that Iran conducted any missile tests in the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday, rejecting a claim made by Iranian state television.
 
"We have seen the reports and cannot confirm any of the reporting that came out today in the Iranian Press TV but recommend you talk to the Iranians," said Lt. Col. Jack Miller, Defense Department spokesman for Middle East policy.
 
CNN and other outlets reported earlier in the day that Press TV, Iran’s state-run news agency, reported firing four missiles into the Persian Gulf and successfully hit a ship-sized target. According to CNN’s account of the original broadcast, the source of the information was Iranian Navy Cmdr. Rear Adm. Ali Fadavi.
 
If that were true, it would be a highly provocative act. The U.S. is in the middle of leading a major multinational countermine exercise in the Gulf with ships from dozens of nations crowding the seas.
 
Reporters earlier on Tuesday asked Pentagon press secretary George Little for his reaction to the initial news of the tests, and Little said, "Any provocative action undertaken by the Iranians is obviously of concern. …I don’t think that this particular event is ringing major alarm bells at this stage, but we take it seriously nonetheless. I would simply appeal to all parties in the region to not engage in provocative actions or actions that could be construed as provocative."
 
But within hours, the Pentagon said it had checked with all possible sources in the field and nobody in the U.S. military could confirm any test ever happened.
 
It’s the second time this week, at least, that Iranian TV has broadcast bluster at the Pentagon. With a public spat between Israel and the U.S. over when and if to strike Iran’s nuclear program, Iran’s Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh said it would retaliate by hitting U.S. military bases in the region.
 
"Incendiary rhetoric is never helpful from the Iranians," Little said. "We view it as rhetoric at this stage. Obviously we stand ready to protect American personnel in the Gulf region."
 

Kevin Baron is a former staff writer at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @FPBaron

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