WW3 fears: Iran conducts terrifying military drill -General warns ‘fingers on the trigger’

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Iranian army commandos and paratroopers have engaged in a series of combative exercises on the Gulf coast near Oman. During the mock war games, paratroopers practised abseiling from a helicopter behind enemy lines and images captured troops running with a firearm along the beach.

Dramatic pictures also showed a heavy-duty tank firing missiles at distant targets – creating a huge fire explosion.

In a stark warning, Revolutionary Guards commander General Hossein Salami said the exercise demonstrates Iran’s defence capabilities and warned its armed forces stand ready for warfare.

Speaking to Iranian state TV, he said: “The recent war games show to enemies the Iranian nations will to defend its independence and territorial integrity.

“Our fingers are on the trigger on behalf of the nation.”

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The latest event follows on from a number of hostile exercises carried out in recent days.

Last week, the Revolutionary Guards used a long-range ballistic missile to destroy a mock vessel located in the Indian Ocean.

Iran also signalled it is prepared for 21st century warfare by testing out its array of domestically-produced drones in the Iranian desert. 

In recent years, Iran and the US forces have clashed over the presence of naval vessels in the Gulf.

The Gulf is a strategic international waterway and provides vital links to the Middle East and especially oil exports from Saudi Arabia – a close US ally.

Last year, the US Navy accused Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards of “dangerous and provocative actions” against its vessels in the Gulf.

The incident took place in April 2020 during a naval drill alongside US Army Apache attack helicopters in international waters.

The US navy said it was confronted by 11 Iranian army vessels and approached six US Navy and Coast Guard ships at “extremely close range and high speeds”.

Tensions between the two nations have escalated throughout the past three years.

Relations began to quickly deteriorate after Mr Trump pulled the US out of the landmark Iran nuclear deal in 2018.

The accord signed in 2015, granted Tehran sanctions relief in return for curbs on its nuclear weapons programme.

Washington and Tehran almost triggered World War 3 last January, after US forces killed Iran’s top military general Qassem Soleimani in Iraq.

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Officials in Iran and in Europe have called on the US to rejoin the treaty and President-elect Joe Biden has signalled he would be willing to reverse Mr Trump’s controversial move.

Mahmoud Vaezi, chief of staff to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhan said: “What we say is that whatever has happened under Trump’s administration must go back to the pre-Trump era.

“We are serious about it.”

In September, Mr Biden stated a return to the Iran nuclear deal would be a “starting point for follow-on negotiations”.

But he warned: “If Iran chooses confrontation, I am prepared to defend our vital interests and our troops.”

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