Iran fires cruise missiles during naval drills in Gulf of Oman

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran fired cruise missiles Thursday as part of a naval drill in the Gulf of Oman, state media reported, amid heightened tensions with the US.

State TV showed footage of missiles being launched from both land units and ships at sea but didn’t elaborate on their range or other details. In July, Iran said it test-fired cruise missiles with a range of some 280 kilometers (some 275 miles).

“Enemies should know that any violation and invasion of Iranian marine borders will be targeted by the cruise missiles from both coast and sea,” said Adm. Hamzeh Ali Kaviani, spokesman for the exercise.

The two-day drill began Wednesday when the country’s navy inaugurated its largest military vessel. The exercise takes place amid heightened tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and a US pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.

In recent weeks, Iran has increased its military drills. On Saturday, the paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps held a naval parade in the Persian Gulf and a week earlier Iran held a massive drone maneuver across half the country.

US President Donald Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew the US from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, in which Tehran had agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Trump cited Iran’s ballistic missile program among other issues in withdrawing.

Following the US’s re-imposition of sanctions on Iran, Tehran gradually and publicly abandoned the deal’s limits on its nuclear development as a series of escalating incidents pushed the two countries to the brink of war at the beginning of last year. Tensions remain high in Trump’s final days in office.

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