Iran tests ballistic missiles, drones in military exercise, says state TV

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Nevin Al Sukari – Sana'a – A handout photo made available by the Iranian Army office January 14, 2021, shows a Noor long-range anti-ship missile fired during an Iranian navy military drill in the Gulf of Oman. — Iranian Army Office handout pic via AFP

DUBAI, Jan 15 — Iran’s Revolutionary Guards fired “abundant” surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and tested locally manufactured new drones in a military exercise today, state television reported.

The drill, which it said was overseen by Guards commander Major General Hossein Salami in the central desert region, came in the waning days of high tensions with US President Donald Trump’s administration.

It followed short-range naval missile tests on Wednesday, as well as exercises earlier this month that featured a wide array of domestically produced drones.

“The bomber drones struck the hypothetical enemy missile shield from all directions, completely destroying the targets,” the state TV broadcast said of today’s drill.

“Also, an abundant number of a new generation of ballistic missiles were fired at selected targets, inflicting deadly blows to the hypothetical enemy bases.”

Iran, which routinely boasts of technological advances in its armed forces, has one of the biggest missile programmes in the Middle East, regarding them as a deterrent and retaliatory force against US and other adversaries in the event of war.

There have been periodic confrontations between Iran’s military and US forces in the Gulf since 2018, when Trump abandoned Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and reinstated harsh sanctions against Tehran.

US President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on January 20, has said Washington will rejoin the deal “if Iran resumes strict compliance” with the agreement that imposed strict curbs on its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions. — Reuters

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