State media: Iran fires cruise missiles in naval exercise

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran fired cruise missiles Thursday as part of a naval exercise in the Gulf of Oman, state media reported, amid heightened tensions with the United States

Different types of surface-to-surface cruise missiles have successfully reached their targets in the Gulf and the northern Indian Ocean, according to the report.

“The enemies must know that any violation and invasion of Iranian maritime borders will be targeted by cruise missiles from the coast and the sea,” said Admiral Hamzeh Ali Kaviani, spokesperson for the exercise.

Images released by the Navy show the missiles being launched and hitting their targets.

The two-day exercise began on Wednesday when the country’s navy unveiled its largest military vessel. The exercise is taking place amid heightened tensions around Iran’s nuclear program and an American pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.

In recent weeks, Iran has stepped up its military exercises. On Saturday, the paramilitary Revolutionary Guards staged a naval parade in the Persian Gulf and a week earlier Iran staged a massive drone maneuver in half the country.

President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, in which Tehran agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Trump cited Iran’s ballistic missile program among other issues related to the withdrawal.

Following the US re-imposition of sanctions against Iran, Tehran has gradually and publicly abandoned the limits of the deal on its nuclear development as a series of escalating incidents have pushed the two countries to edge of war at the start of the year.

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