WASHINGTON — In a potentially explosive move, China has shipped a second batch of long-range Silkworm missiles to Iran while the Reagan Administration weighs options for protecting oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.
The missiles were delivered about two weeks ago, adding to an arsenal provided by China earlier in the year, a U.S. official said Tuesday. They could enhance Iran's ability to attack ships moving through the Strait of Hormuz.
"The missiles add a dangerous dimension to shipping in the gulf," said the official, who demanded anonymity.
He said Iran has prepared sites for the weapons but has not deployed either batch of Silkworms.