Damien McElroy
August 4, 2008

The fusillade of belligerence fired at “major powers” came as Tehran was poised to reject demands to curtail its nuclear programme. The country’s chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, spoke to Javier Solana, the EU’s foreign affairs supremo, to tender a belated response to an offer of compensation in return for a suspension of its uranium production.

Officials in Tehran said the country was not yet ready to accept the core requirement that its suspect research programme is abandoned.

In advance of the discussion Iran announced it had developed a “unique” new surface-to-ship missile with a range of 200 miles. General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) hinted the missile would boost Iran’s defensive capabilities in the Gulf, the key oil artery where it regularly contests the dominance of the US Navy.

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