Iran launches first underground missile during US-focused drill

Clay Curtis
July 31, 2020

Iran's refurbished mockup aircraft carrier (R), used previously as a simulated USA target during a February, 2015 Iranian naval war games exercise, is approached by a fast boat at the Strait of Hormuz, 50km Southeast of Bandar Abbas, Iran July 26, 2020.

State TV footage also showed scuba forces underwater, followed by a cutaway to a blast hole just above the waterline on the replica carrier.

The drill, in a waterway through which 20 percent of all traded oil passes, underlines the lingering threat of military conflict between Iran and the United States after last summer saw a series of incidents targeting oil tankers in the region.

It is reportedly said this exercise aimed at threatening the USA amid tensions between Tehran and Washington.

It hailed "the successful launch of ballistic missiles from the depths of the Earth in a completely camouflaged way" as an "important achievement that could pose serious challenges to enemy intelligence organisations".

"That means without utilising conventional launch pads, the buried missiles suddenly rip out of the earth and hit their targets precisely".

The launch, six months after the Guard shot down a Ukrainian jetliner and killed all 176 people on board.

The exercise also involved deployment of combat swimmers, missile test launches, a drill for anti-aircraft batteries and other elements.

"Rebecca Rebarich, a spokesperson in the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, which oversees operations in the Middle East, told The Associated Press".

Iran also shot down a large United States military reconnaissance drone.

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Brian Hook, the United States special representative for Iran, was in London, UK, on Wednesday to meet Foreign Office officials as part of his attempt to drum up support for the USA policy of extending a UN arms embargo on Iran.

Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps carried out the drill for two days through Wednesday. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information.

The photo, posted on the Navy's Instagram account, featured a replica aircraft carrier built by Iran, along with the caption: "Iran builds target ship".

"The final stage of the drill called "Great Prophet 14" with the participation of the Guards Navy and Air Force has started in the areas of land, air, sea and space in. the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf", Fars News Agency reported.

Dubbed Prophet Muhammad 14th, the reports from earlier this week of Iran putting a dummy aircraft carrier into the Strait to target proved true, with an Iranian helicopter firing a missile at it.

The US Navy has criticised Iran's military drills that are taking place along the waterways in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, adding that it is monitoring them closely.

The Guards in April said Tehran would destroy USA warships if Iran's security is threatened in the Gulf.

The exercise prompted the U.S. military to put its troops on alert at the Al-Dhafra air base in the United Arab Emirates and the Al-Udeid air base in Qatar, according to USA officials.

The war games came just days after Tehran accused U.S. fighter jets of harassing an Iranian commercial airliner in the skies over Syria.

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