DUBAI, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Iran‘s Revolutionary Guards fired “abundant” surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and tested locally manufactured new drones in a military exercise on Friday, 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 U.S. 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 Friday’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 U.S. and other adversaries in the event of war.
There have been periodic confrontations between Iran‘s military and U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf since 2018, when Trump abandoned Iran‘s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and reinstated harsh sanctions against Tehran.
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on Jan. 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.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom Editing by Mark Heinrich)