16, January 2021
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards test-fired ballistic missiles against targets in the Indian Ocean as they wrapped up a two-day exercise, their official website reported Saturday.
The missiles of “various classes” targeted “the enemy’s battleships and destroyed them from 1,800 kilometres (1,125 miles) away,” according to the Sepahnews website.
The missiles were fired from central Iran with the targets located in the “northern Indian Ocean,” the Guards said.
A video released by state television showed two missiles being launched and targets being hit at sea.
Iran’s armed forces chief of staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri was present on the second day of the drill, alongside Guards chief Major General Hossein Salami and aerospace commander Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh.
Using “long-range missiles for maritime targets indicates that if the enemies … show any ill will towards our national interests, maritime trade routes or territory, they will be targeted and destroyed by our missiles,” Sepahnews quoted Bagheri as saying.
“We do not intend to carry out any attack,” he said, adding that the exercise showed Iran’s readiness to defend itself “with all its strength” against any aggressor.
Dubbed Great Prophet 15, the exercise also featured a drone attack on a missile defence system followed by the launch of a barrage of “new generation” surface-to-surface ballistic missiles.
The war games come at a time of rising tensions with the United States in the final days of President Donald Trump’s administration.
It was Iran’s third military exercise in less than two weeks after a naval exercise in the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday and Thursday, and an army drone drill on January 5-6.
The exercises started two days after Iran marked the anniversary of the assassination of revered Guards commander Qasem Soleimani, killed in a US drone strike in Iraq in January last year.