Iran test-fires powerful ballistic missiles during war game

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps claimed they hit their targets 'with 100 per cent precision'

Iran tested powerful ballistic and cruise missiles and drones during a five-day military exercise that began on Monday, state TV said.

The exercises are taking place at the same time as negotiations on a potential return to the 2015 nuclear deal, under which Iran allowed UN inspections of its nuclear programme in return for the easing of international sanctions.

Washington has in the past insisted that Iran's missile programmes be included in any nuclear negotiations, while UN Resolution 2231, which remains in force until 2023, places international sanctions on Iran's ballistic-missile programme.

"The use of ballistic missiles by the Revolutionary Guards' navy is a new concept ... and they hit their targets with 100 per cent precision," Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps chief Gen Hossein Salami told state TV.

In January 2020, Iran fired a volley of at least 12 ballistic missiles at US bases in Iraq after the death of Iranian general Qassem Sulaimani in a US drone strike near Baghdad.

The accuracy of the missiles surprised some observers by hitting specific buildings on one of the US bases, Al Asad, injuring 100 American soldiers.

Previously, Iran's ballistic missiles were judged to have what military scientists call a "circular error probable" of 450 metres.

This means that they would typically land within 450 metres of a target. The attacks on Al Asad proved the weapons were considerably more accurate.

Iran also stands accused by the UN of firing cruise missiles at major oil infrastructure in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, in September 2019. A UN report said that "the cruise missiles and/or parts thereof used in the four attacks are of Iranian origin".

Iran says its ballistic missiles have a range of 2,000 km and are capable of reaching Israel and US bases in the region.

On Monday, Iran gave a warning of a "crushing" response to any move against it by Israel, which opposes efforts by world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear deal and has long threatened military action if diplomacy fails to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear bomb. Iran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful.

The Iranian military exercises also included the simultaneous firing of five cruise missiles and the launching of armed drones capable of hitting two targets each, Iranian media reported.

Updated: December 21st 2021, 5:21 PM