Iran holds missile drill with two new warships

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TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s Navy started a short-range missile drill within the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday and inaugurated its largest army vessel, state TV reported, amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and a U.S. strain marketing campaign towards the Islamic Republic.

The two-day missile drill was being held within the gulf’s southeastern waters, and two new Iranian-made warships joined the train: the missile-launching Zereh, or “armor,” and the nation’s largest army ship, the Makran — a logistics vessel with a helicopter pad named for a coastal area in southern Iran.

President Donald Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from Iran’s nuclear deal, wherein Tehran had agreed to restrict its uranium enrichment in trade for the lifting of financial sanctions. Trump cited Iran’s ballistic missile program amongst different points in withdrawing from the accord.

When the U.S. then ramped up sanctions, Iran step by step and publicly deserted the deal’s limits on its nuclear growth as a collection of escalating incidents pushed the 2 international locations to the brink of struggle initially of the yr.

In latest weeks, Iran has elevated its army drills. On Saturday, the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard held a naval parade within the Arabian Gulf, and every week earlier Iran held a large drone maneuver throughout half the nation.

Iran from time to time pronounces army achievements that can’t be independently verified. State TV mentioned the 121,000-metric ton Makran is Iran’s largest army ship at 228 meters (748 ft) lengthy, 42 meters (138 ft) large and 21.5 meters (70 ft) tall. The Makran, a logistics ship that helps fight ships within the fleet, can journey for practically three years with out docking and carries info assortment and processing gear.

Video footage launched by the army confirmed helicopters carrying commandos to the Makran as a part of the train.

Last week, Iran seized a South Korean oil tanker and its crew members within the Gulf, and continues to carry the vessel at an Iranian port. The Islamic Republic has apparently sought to extend its leverage over Seoul forward of negotiations over billions of {dollars} in Iranian belongings frozen in South Korean banks tied to U.S. sanctions on Iran.

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of getting secret ties with the militant al-Qaida community and imposed new sanctions on a number of senior Iranian officers. Iran has denied the accusation.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday mentioned in a televised speech throughout a Cabinet assembly that U.S. sanctions will fail. “We are witnessing the failure of a policy, the maximum pressure campaign, economic terrorism,” he mentioned.

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