Flexing muscle, Iran’s army test fires short-range missile

Iran and Russia to hold a joint naval drill in northern part of the Indian Ocean in the “near future.”

Iran’s army test fired a sophisticated short-range missile on Sunday, state media reported.

The report by the official IRNA news agency quoted the chief of the army’s ground forces, Gen. Kioumars Heidari, as saying that the missile’s range was 300 kilometres.

General Heidari said the “smart” missile is capable of working under “any weather condition.” He did not say where the test took place.

Iran’s national army controls short-range missiles, although longer-range ones capable of travelling up to 2,000 kilometres— far enough to reach arch-enemy Israel and US military bases — are controlled by the paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

In a parallel development, deputy chief of the army Admiral Habibollah Sayyari told IRNA that Iran and Russia will hold a joint naval drill in northern part of the Indian Ocean in the “near future.”

Admiral Sayyari said the drill has aimed at “reinforcing security” in the region. This is the second such a drill since 2019, when the two nations held a four-day exercise alongside China’s navy.

Tehran has been seeking to step up military cooperation with Beijing and Moscow while under US-led sanctions. Visits to Iran by Russian and Chinese naval representatives have also increased in recent years.

In recent months, Iran has increased its military drills as the country tries to pressure US President Joe Biden to reenter a previous nuclear accord that his predecessor Donald Trump abandoned. Biden has said America could reenter the deal.

In recent days, the Houthis, Iran’s Yemen proxies, have multiplied their drone attacks on Saudi Arabian targets.

On Thursday , the Guard conducted a drill near the Iraqi border using drones, helicopters and tanks.

Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew the US from the Iranian nuclear accord, in which Tehran had agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

When the US then increased sanctions, Iran gradually and publicly abandoned the deal’s limits on its nuclear development.

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