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Iran Calls U.S. Navy a 'Paper Tiger'

May 20, 1987|From Reuters

LONDON — The Speaker of Iran's Parliament said Tuesday that the Iraqi missile attack on the U.S. frigate Stark showed that the U.S. Navy was a "paper tiger," the Iranian news agency IRNA reported.

Hashemi Rafsanjani said that Sunday's attack, which killed 37 sailors, has shattered the myth of U.S. warship invincibility.

IRNA, monitored in London, said Rafsanjani told Parliament in Tehran that the Stark's crew had become "prey for the whales of the Persian Gulf."

"These paper tigers, which can be destroyed by a missile from a distance of 12 miles, can pose no threat for regional people (Iran) who have missiles in their possession capable of hitting these frigates from a distance of 60 miles."

The United States and other Western nations said earlier this year that Iran had placed Chinese long-range, anti-shipping Silkworm missiles along its coast.

Rafsanjani compared the attack on the Stark with the failed U.S. attempt to free American hostages in Tehran in 1980, adding that both incidents demonstrated divine assistance for Islam.

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