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AFP
January 16, 2021

Iran’s Guards hold missile, drone drill

World

AFP
January 16, 2021

TEHRAN: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on Friday launched a missile and drone drill in central Iran, their official website reported -- the country’s third military exercise in less than two weeks.

The moves come at a time of heightened tensions with the United States in the final days of President Donald Trump’s administration. Dubbed the Great Prophet 15, Friday’s drill featured a "new generation" of surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, according to the Sepahnews website.

It involved a drone attack on a missile defence system followed by "a barrage of Zolfaghar, Zelzal and Dezful-class ballistic missiles," the site said. According to the Guards, the missiles were "equipped with detachable warheads and capable of being controlled outside the atmosphere".

A video released by state television showed several missiles being launched in a desert area with Guards commander Hossein Salami and the force’s aerospace chief Amirali Hajizadeh present.

"The message of this drill was our power and determined will to defend our sovereignty, our sacred system and our values against the enemies of Islam and Iran," Salami was quoted as saying.

Hajizadeh said the operation demonstrated the Guards’ "new power" and capabilities. The drill follows an Iranian navy exercise held on Wednesday and Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, and an army drone drill on January 5-6.

The exercises started two days after Iran marked the first anniversary of the assassination of its revered commander Qasem Soleimani, killed in a US drone strike in Iraq in January last year. US President-elect Joe Biden is due to succeed Trump on January 20.