TEHRAN (AP) — Iran‘s powerful Revolutionary Guards are planning war games this week, including drills with surface-to-surface missiles aimed at models of foreign bases, the official IRNA news agency reported Sunday.
It said the maneuvers would begin Monday in Iran‘s central desert and last three days.
The report quoted Gen. Ami Ali Hajizadeh, chief of the airspace unit of the Guards. He said the message of the maneuvers to “adventurist” nations in the region and the West is that “Iran will respond to any possible evil” in a “strong and crushing” way.
He said the maneuvers also are aimed at assessing the accuracy and effectiveness of warheads and systems.
The announcement coincides with the beginning of a European Union oil embargo meant to pressure Iran over its nuclear program. The West suspects Iran wants to build nuclear weapons, and Israel has hinted at an attack if diplomatic efforts and sanctions fail to eliminate the threat.
Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, such as power generation and cancer treatment.
Israel considers Iran its most dangerous enemy because of its nuclear program, missile capability, support for radical anti-Israel groups such as Hezbollah and frequent references to destruction of the Jewish state.