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VIDEO: Iran test-fires cruise missile from submarine in military drill

A starboard quarter view of Iran's second Kilo-class diesel-powered attack submarine underway. (U.S. National Archives/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Iran has test-fired a cruise missile from a submarine during annual naval exercises near the Strait of Hormuz, according to state media.

The missile test on February 24 comes amid heightened tensions with the United States.

Iran has previously threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, in retaliation for any hostile U.S. action.

The official news agency IRNA reported that a Ghadir-class Iranian Navy submarine successfully launched a cruise missile on February 24. It did not specify the missile’s range. Iranian media said it was the first time the country had launched a cruise missile from a submarine.

IRNA reported that Iran’s other submarines — the Tareq and the new, domestically-built Fateh — have the same capability.

Iran often claims it has made breakthroughs in its military capabilities.

But many of the claims have been challenged by Western experts who have said Iran often exaggerates its capabilities for propaganda purposes.

U.S. President Donald Trump in May withdrew from a landmark 2015 deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

Trump said the deal was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran’s development of ballistic missiles or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Iraq.

Iran has expanded its missile program, particularly its ballistic missiles.