Iran threatened to fire long-range missiles at American targets in the Middle East yesterday as the war of words between Teheran and the West continued to escalate.

A senior commander of the Revolutionary Guard, the largest component of the Islamic republic’s armed forces, chose this moment to outline the capability of his country’s ballistic missiles.

The Shahab-3 rocket has a range of 1,250 miles, allowing it to strike an array of Western targets across the Middle East.

“Today the Americans are around our country but this does not mean that they are encircling us. They are encircled themselves and are within our range,” said Gen Mohammed Hassan Koussechi.

“If the United States is saying that they have identified 2,000 targets in Iran, then what is certain is that it is the Americans who are all around Iran and are equally our targets,” he told the official IRNA news agency.

Gen Koussechi added: “We have reached capacities that allow us to hit the enemy at a range of 2,000 kilometres.”

A wide array of possible targets faces Iran across the Gulf. Dubai, filled with Western companies, tourists and expatriates, is only 105 miles away.

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