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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Iran Defends Buildup

n WASHINGTON () -- A four-month Iranian military buildup on islands at the mouth of the Gulf is "primarily defensive" and not designed to threaten shipping in the oil rich region, the United States has said.

The U.S. statement appeared to be conciliatory. Iran angrily denied suggestions from Washington this week that the addition of missiles and artillery raised questions about Tehran's designs.

Defence Department spokesman Ken Bacon said on Thursday that over 1,000 Iranian troops, a Hawk battery previously sold to Iran, some artillery and about 10 tanks were now on the island of Abu Musa. Chinese-made Silkworm anti-ship missiles were also believed to be stationed on the Iranian island of Qeshm, Bacon added