State media: Iran fires cruise missiles in maneuvers

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran fired cruise missiles on Thursday during naval exercises in the Gulf of Oman, state media reported, amid mounting tensions with the United States.

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

“Enemies must know that any violation and invasion of Iranian maritime borders will be targeted by cruise missiles from both land and sea,” said Admiral Hamzeh Ali Kaviani, spokesman for the military exercises.

The images distributed by the Navy showed the launch of the missiles and how they hit the target.

The exercises, which will last two days, began on Wednesday with the presentation of the largest Iranian military ship. The exercises coincide with a time of high tension over Tehran’s nuclear program and the US pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.

In recent weeks, Iran has increased its military maneuvers. On Saturday, the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard held a naval parade in the Persian Gulf, and within a week there was a huge drone exercise in half the country.

In 2018, US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew Washington from the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers whereby the Islamic Republic agreed to limit uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions against it. Trump cited the country’s ballistic missile program, along with other issues, to abandon the pact.

As Washington tightened its sanctions, Iran gradually and publicly abandoned the agreement’s limits to its nuclear development as a series of increasingly serious incidents left the two nations on the brink of war early last year.

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