Friday, January 22, 2021

Iran holds missile drill in Gulf of Oman amid tensions

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s navy started a short-range missile drill within the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday, state TV reported, amid heightened regional tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and a U.S. strain marketing campaign towards the Islamic Republic.

The 2-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 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, by which Tehran had agreed to restrict its uranium enrichment in alternate 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 progressively and publicly deserted the deal’s limits on its nuclear growth as a sequence of escalating incidents pushed the 2 international locations to the brink of conflict at first of the yr.

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

Additionally final 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.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday mentioned in a televised speech throughout a Cupboard assembly that U.S. sanctions will fail. “We’re witnessing the failure of a coverage, the utmost strain marketing campaign, financial terrorism,” he mentioned.

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