According to an Iranian commander, “The Americans, and the entire world, know that the American navy is one of our targets, and it will take us 50 seconds to destroy every US warship.”
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) launched on Wednesday massive war games, code-named the Great Prophet 9, in the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, according to reports from Iran’s Press TV and AP.
The drills, which reportedly focused on a possible face-off with US forces, started with maritime mine operations by speedboats as well as the firing of four coast-to-sea missiles in the strategic Persian Gulf region and the Strait of Hormuz.
Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, RGC’s navy commander, said that 20 new missiles would be tested during the military exercises. Senior Iranian officials attended the drill, including Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and Revolutionary Guards commander Gen. Ali Jafari.
The drills featured the firing and testing of a wide array of military and naval equipment and missiles. At one stage, two ballistic missiles, which blew up an Iranian-built, life-size replica of a US aircraft carrier, were fired, according to Arab media. The target was reportedly completely destroyed by the missiles.
Show of Force
Fadavi said last April that “the Americans, and the entire world, know that the American navy is one of our targets, and it will take us 50 seconds to destroy every US warship.”
Iran also fired coast-to-sea and ground-to-ground ballistic missiles during the drill.
The maneuvers, which involve “state-of-the-art military equipment,” are aimed at demonstrating IRGC’s prowess in defending the country’s interests in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, Press TV reports.
Iran has conducted several war games in the past months, ostensibly to enhance the defense capabilities of its armed forces.
During negotiations with the P5+1, however, the Islamic Republic has repeatedly claimed that its military might poses no threat to other countries, reiterating that its defense doctrine is based on deterrence.
General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, chief of the Iranian army’s ground forces, stated during a massive military maneuver in December that “the country’s army wants to convey a message of peace and friendship to neighboring states through this military drill.”
Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet in Bahrain, said the Americans were were monitoring the drills and were “not concerned” about this development, AP reports.
In the meantime, new details have emerged about Iranian efforts to destabilize the Middle East. According to information given by Western intelligence officials to Fox News, Unit 190 of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force is in charge of smuggling weapons to terrorist groups throughout the region, including Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Iran, which supports the Assad regime in Syria, as well as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthi rebels in Yemen, is the primary backer of militant Shi’ism in the Middle East. Iran recently resumed its funding of Hamas terrorism against Israel.
By: United with Israel Staff
With files from Associated Press
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