US vows to defend allies following Iranian missile tests

July 11th, 2008 - 3:30 am ICT by IANS  

Tehran, July 11 (DPA) Iran conducted missile tests for a second day Thursday, continuing to escalate tension in the Middle East and prompting assurances from the US that it was ready to defend allies in the region. Iran fired more medium-and long-range missile during exercises in the Gulf, a day after similar missions designed to send a signal to what the Islamic state called its “enemies.” The Shahab-3 missiles have a range of 2,000 km and are capable of hitting Israel.

The tests drew a sharp rebuke from Israel. Speaking in Tel Aviv, Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Israel backs international diplomatic efforts to contain Iran but the Jewish state won’t hesitate to act when “vital security interests” are at stake, according to the Jerusalem Post.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking at a press conference with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi, said Iran should not be confused about the US commitment to protect allies in the Middle East.

“We are also sending a message to Iran that we will defend American interests and defend our

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