Hassan Firouzabadi
Hassan Firouzabadi Reuters

Ignoring recent US sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile program, Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi on Monday announced planned "massive missile drills," to be held by the end of February.

Firouzabadi was quoted by the semi-official Fars News Agency saying the "missile wargames" are set for the first half of the Iranian month of Esfand, which spans from February 11 to March 5.

"Testing and evaluating precision-striking capabilities and power, increasing the Armed Forces' preparedness, and strengthening the missile deterrence power are among the main goals of the drills," noted Firouzabadi.

The Fars report on Monday stated that Iran's army recently conducted tests on "different types of newly-developed missiles and torpedoes and tested a large number of home-made weapons, tools and equipment, including submarines, military ships, artillery, choppers, aircrafts (sic), UAVs and air defense and electronic systems, during massive military drills."

A key weapon being developed by Iran is its nuclear-capable medium-range Emad missiles, which Tehran recently vowed to upgrade. Emad is said to have a 1,700 kilometer range, putting Israel and much of eastern Europe squarely in its sights.

In light of an Iranian Emad test last October 10, in breach of UN sanctions, US President Barack Obama's administration in January announced it was leveling sanctions on Iran's missile program - sanctions which Iran promptly vowed to defy

Iran in January publicly revealed its 14 underground "missile towns," with the latest facility being shown on Iranian media as convoys of the nuclear-capable Emad missiles were transferred in.