Published: Wed, March 01, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Iran launches naval drills amid rising tensions with US

The drills cover an area of 2 million square kilometers, stretching from the Strait of Hormuz and Oman Sea to the north of the Indian Ocean and Bab al-Mandab Strait.

The home-made laser-guided missile was tested on the second day of the drills, Tasnim news agency reported.

The drills are said to involve homegrown submarines, naval aviation, reconnaissance aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles, and also amphibious assault and Special Forces units, TASS reports.

An Iranian warship and speed boats take part in a naval war game in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, southern Iran April 22, 2010.

Iran's navy held a massive annual drill in three locations on Sunday.

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Responding to Washington, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his country's missile clout is for "defense" only, rejecting that it posed any threat to the security and stability of the region. "Iran is unmoved by threats".

The US announced a ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US, although this was a campaign promise of Trump's and unlikely caused by the missile test.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly criticized the Iran nuclear deal reached by President Barack Obama in the summer of 2015. It vowed counter-sanctions on American companies and firms.

Last week, the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Mohammad Pakpour, warned the be careful in its assessments of Tehran; otherwise, it could get a "strong slap in the face". According to a 2015 United Nations resolution endorsing the deal, Iran required to refrain from working on ballistic missiles created to deliver nuclear weapons for up to eight years.

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