Iran, Thursday (21/10), began its annual air force drills across the country, a week after holding its massive air defense drills.
State TV reported that bombers, fighter jets, and attack and reconnaissance planes would participate in the drill, which involves heavy weapons including laser-guided missiles. The TV also said all Iranian military air bases would participate in the exercise. Iran has 12 air bases. The report did not say how long the drills would last.
The drills come a week after Iran held annual two-day air defense drills in the desert region in the central part of the country, involving the Revolutionary Guards’ paramilitary forces and its ground forces. Iran regularly holds such exercises to assess the combat readiness of troops and demonstrate its country’s military capabilities.
The Middle East region is in a tense situation over Iran’s escalating nuclear program. Talks in Vienna to revive Tehran’s 2015 deal with world powers now in tatters have stalled since June, with no certainty when it will restart.
The 2015 nuclear deal required Iran to drastically limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. In 2018, President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the treaty, raising tensions in the wider Middle East and triggering a series of attacks and incidents. [ab/ka]