The Iranian Navy announced this week that it will conduct 20 military drills over the next nine months.
Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari made the announcement to reporters on Monday, saying that by March 2017, 20 war games will have been staged over the Iranian year (March 20, 2016 – March 20, 2017).
Sayyari said Iran’s territorial waters were “in full security” and that Iran’s defense capabilities were “so high that no enemy would dare to invade the territorial waters of Iran,” according to the Tasnim news agency.
The military drills include intelligence operations, rescue missions, submarine deployments and missile tests, for which Tehran came under harsh international criticism.
In March, Iran said it conducted a series of new ballistic missile tests to demonstrate “deterrent power” and the country’s “all-out readiness to confront threats” against its territorial integrity.
Israel has pointed to continued ballistic missile tests as proof Tehran plans to continue pursuing a nuclear weapon, despite a landmark deal signed with world powers last year that curbs Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Washington imposed new sanctions over Iran’s missile program in January, almost immediately after lifting separate sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program under the nuclear deal, following ballistic missile tests carried out in October of the new Emad guided ballistic missile.
Under the nuclear deal, the UN arms embargo on the country continues, as do ballistic missile restrictions.
Following ballistic missile tests in October, Britain, France, Germany and the US all demanded a UN investigation into the launches, and a UN committee later determined they violated a Security Council resolution that prohibits Tehran from launching ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
Last month, Iran’s Supreme Leader criticized the US presence in the Persian Gulf region on Monday, saying American forces should go back to the Bay of Pigs, an apparent reference to the 1961 failed invasion of Cuba by 1,500 CIA-trained exiles. Muslims also view pigs as unclean animals as the Quran prohibits followers of Islam from eating pork.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that American military drills in the region were proof of US arrogance.