Iran Heralds New Weapon as War Games Aimed at ‘Great Satan’ EndKambiz Foroohar
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said it had test-fired a new strategic weapon as three days of military drills codenamed “Great Prophet 9” ended in the Persian Gulf.
The war games near the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world’s most strategic waterways, had earlier in the week included a simulated attack on a replica of a U.S. Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.
“The introduction of this new weapon will have a very decisive role in increasing our naval power,” Admiral Ali Fadavi, the Guard’s naval chief, told the sepahanews.com website, which is affiliated to the force.
It will be vital “in confronting threats against the Islamic Republic, and in particular by the Great Satan, America,” he said on Friday, without describing the type or capability of the weapon.
The military display came as negotiators from Iran and a group of world powers led by the U.S. near a deadline for an accord on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. While the talks are backed by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, hardliners have warned against offering the nation’s opponents major concessions.
The U.S. and its allies, including Israel, say an accord must prevent Iran pursuing nuclear weapons. Iran says its program is solely for peaceful purposes.
Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Montreux, Switzerland early next week. Differences have included the scope of the nuclear program Iran will be allowed to keep, and how quickly global sanctions will be lifted.
Over three days of drills, Iran’s military also put a reconnaissance drone and an armed combat robot through their paces, according to a report on PressTV.
On Wednesday, the navy blasted the mocked-up American aircraft carrier, which was built on top of a barge. Iran’s state television showed images of missiles striking the fake battleship.
The U.S. and its partners have in recent years carried out military exercises in the same waters. They say the drills are aimed at securing key routes for world trade and do not target Iran.