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Futures prices for crude oil quickly reversed their two-day decline as Iran's military boasted of successfully test-firing missiles capable of reaching Israel. Prices that closed at $136.04 a barrel Tuesday were back up to $138.34 at midday in trading in London. A Revolutionary Guard commander said the tests "demonstrate our ... might against enemies who in recent weeks have threatened Iran with a harsh language."

Russia is "deeply distressed" at the newly signed deal to build part of a proposed US missile defense shield in the Czech Republic, President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday. Medvedev (above, c., in a light moment at the Group of Eight meetings with President Bush and German Chancellor Angela Maerkel) vowed there would be a Russian response to the system, although he did not go as far as his foreign ministry, which threatened to retaliate "with military/technical methods."


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