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Iranian IRGC holds missile drill in central Iran Iranian IRGC holds missile drill in central Iran  (ANSA)

Iran test-fires ballistic missiles on ocean targets

Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard conducted a drill Saturday launching anti-warship ballistic missiles at a simulated target in the Indian Ocean, state television reported, amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and a U.S. pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.

By Nathan Morley

Iran, which has one of the biggest missile programmes in the Middle East, is expanding its arsenal.

The missiles were fired during an exercise in the country’s central desert region and follow the testing of surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and new drones.

The chief of the Revolutionary Guards, Major General Hossein Salami, said the use of long-range missiles against enemy warships, aircraft carriers and warships was a defence policy goal.

The missiles have a range of 1,800 kilometres and can now strike moving targets in the ocean.

Chief of Staff General Mohammad Baqeri insisted that Iran had no offensive intentions, but would now be able to "respond to any hostile and malicious act in the shortest time."

“(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," Bagheri said.

This was Iran's third major military exercise in less than a fortnight.

16 January 2021, 21:22