Iran kicks off massive military exercise

Iran kicks off military exercise - with Israeli flag flying in the background. 'Exercise showcases power, willingness to take on enemies,' Iranian admiral says.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Iranian missiles
Iranian missiles
Yehuda Ben Itach/Flash 90

Just weeks ahead of the scheduled renewal of talks on a return to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran has begun a massive military exercise in the Gulf of Oman, Israel's Channel 12 News reported.

The widescale exercise, which kicked off on Sunday, includes the area from north of the Indian Ocean to parts of the Red Sea, and includes among other things, the use of drones, manned aircraft, special forces, and both defensive and offensive missiles systems. The Israeli flag can be seen on the horizon, in an apparent attempt to send a message to the Zionist state, Channel 12 noted.

The Zolfaqar-1400 drill integrates exercises by Iran's Navy, Air Force, and Revolutionary Guards, and simulates various scenarios such as naval warfare far from the Iranian coast.

Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi, spokesman for the annual exercise, said, "The military exercise on the Iranian coast in the Gulf of Oman is intended to present the country's military power and its willingness to take on our enemies."

Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, Coordinating Deputy of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army said that the Iranians "will showcase the strength of the Islamic Republic in far-off waters, and warn the enemies that any aggressive action will trigger a crushing response."

On a diplomatic level, Iran announced on Monday that it needs "guarantees" that the US will not leave the JCPOA, also known as the nuclear deal, in the future. A spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said, "The US needs to show that it has the ability and the desire not to leave the deal again, if the talks succeed. Washington must recognize the mistake that it made when it left the deal."

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with world powers in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.