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Iran Test-Fires Missile, Claims To Have Made Nuclear Fuel Rod

As often happens with issues related to Iran's relations with the rest of the world, there's a mix of saber-rattling and diplomacy in the news again today:

Iran's navy says it "successfully test-fired a new long-range coast-to-sea missile called Qader [Capable]" during naval maneuvers in the Strait of Hormuz, the government-run Press TV reports. That's the same strait, of course, that Iran has threatened to close if other nations continue to tighten sanctions aimed at the Persian nation because of its nuclear ambitions.

According to The Associated Press, the Qader was "described as an upgraded version of a missile that has been in service before" and had a range of about 124 miles.

Meanwhile, Iran also claims it has "produced its first nuclear fuel rod," Bloomberg News says, and to have inserted it into a reactor that "produces radioisotopes for cancer treatment, according to Mehr news agency."

And, over the weekend, Iranian officials said they had "proposed a new round of talks on its nuclear program with six world powers that have been trying for years to persuade Tehran to freeze aspects of its atomic work," the AP adds.

(Note: we're mostly "off" today — and are helping our friends at It's All Politics with some of the Iowa caucuses coverage. But we will pop in a few times today, we expect, as news warrants.)

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