Iran to conduct military drills amid US tensions

Iran to conduct military drills amid US tensions
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards will hold military exercises this week in a show of defiance to the US following Tehran's controversial ballistic missile tests.
2 min read
18 February, 2017
Iran's Revolutionary Guards are a potent force in the Islamic Republic [Anadolu]

Iran's armed forces will conduct military drills next week, amid the backdrop of ramped up tensions with the US after Tehran test-fired a ballistic missile.

Elite Revolutionary Guards will hold military trials and the exercises will reportedly include the firing of missiles.

"The manoeuvres called 'Grand Prophet 11' will start Monday and last three days," General Mohammad Pakpour, commander of the force's ground units, told a news conference.

In early February, Iran conducted drills involving short-range missiles at a time of heightened tensions with the US.

The Islamic Republic said the exercises were aimed at demonstrating Iran's "complete preparedness to deal with the threats" and "humiliating sanctions" from Washington.

US President Donald Trump slapped fresh sanctions against Tehran's weapons procurement network following a ballistic missile test on 29 January.

"Iran would do well to look at the calendar and realise there's a new president in the Oval Office. And Iran would do well not to test the resolve of this new president," Vice President Mike Pence said earlier this month.

New Pentagon chief James Mattis has further heightened tensions describing Iran as "the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world".

Iranian officials have rejected the threats emphasising that the missile programme is purely defensive.