Iran’s war games in the Gulf warn Israel

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An explosion is seen on the water behind a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) during a joint military exercise called ‘The Great Prophet 17’ in the southwest of Iran, in this photo taken on December 22, 2021. IRG

(Reuters) – The war games waged by Iran this week in the Gulf are intended to send a warning to Israel, the country’s top military commanders said on Friday, amid concerns over the Israel may have plans to target Iran’s nuclear sites.

The Revolutionary Guards war games, which included cruise and ballistic missile firing, ended on Friday.

“These exercises have a very clear message: a serious, real warning… to the threats posed by the Zionist regime’s authorities beware of their mistakes.” Guards chief Hossein Salami said on state television.

“We will cut off their hands if they do it wrong… The gap between actual operations and military drills is just a change in missile launch angles,” Salami added.

Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, said 16 ballistic missiles of different classes were fired simultaneously and destroyed predefined targets.

Iran says its ballistic missiles have a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) and are capable of reaching Israeli and US bases in the region.

Israel, which opposes efforts by world powers to revive Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal, has long threatened military action if diplomacy fails. Iran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful.

Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz has urged world powers not to allow Iran to participate in nuclear talks, during a break requested by Iran and scheduled to resume next Monday.

Israel is believed to be the only Middle Eastern country with a nuclear arsenal.

([email protected]; Edited by Gareth Jones)

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