Iran has launched a comprehensive set of war games spanning all units of the Islamic Republic, conducting drills that included the launching of missiles, torpedoes and drones in a bid to deter any potential threats.
The exercise is part of an annual series known as Zolfaqar, which kicked off this year on Sunday in southern Iran near the mouth of the Persian Gulf.
Among the array of missiles fired as the exercise reached its second day on Monday were Qader, Qadir and Nasr anti-ship missiles, along with anti-aircraft systems such as the 15-Khordad and Mersad. Undersea, submarines IRIS Tariq and IRIS Qadir fired Valfajr torpedoes at mock targets.
Iran also employed the use of loitering munitions commonly known as suicide drones to take out simulated enemies. One model seen in imagery release by the Iranian military included the Arash, which flew a long distance before crashing into a predesignated target on the side of a mountain.
As the drills commenced on Sunday, Major General Gholam-Ali Rashid, commander of the Khatam al-Anbiya Central Headquarters, described the maneuvers as designed to "preserve the territorial integrity of dear Iran, as well as the position and power of the region, against the coalition of enemies, and specifically the coalition of the United States and the Zionist regime," a reference to Iran's archfoe Israel.
"Our armed forces, including the army and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, will crush any threat posed by any arrogant and aggressive power, at any level, and originating from any territory," Rashid said.
Iran's drills began just a day after the U.S. Navy conducted a missile exercise of its own in the Persian Gulf.
In a press release published Sunday, U.S. Central Command said "U.S. Navy patrol coastal ships conducted a live-fire exercise with the MK-60 Griffin guided-missile system in the Arabian Gulf, Nov. 4-6, to test crew proficiency and system functionality."
The U.S. military often uses the term Arabian Gulf to describe the region more commonly known internationally as the Persian Gulf, due to links between the Pentagon and Arabian Peninsula states that host U.S. forces, as well as the greater dispute that exists between Washington and Tehran.
Vessels that participated in the U.S. training included coastal patrol ships USS Firebolt, USS Thunderbolt, USS Tempest, USS Chinook, USS Hurricane, USS Whirlwind, expeditionary mobile base platform ship USS Lewis B. Puller and guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy.
"Some ships also conducted a live fire exercises with crew-served weapons to maintain operator proficiency and readiness for future missions," the Bahrain-based U.S. 5th Fleet said.
The U.S. and Iranian maneuvers came as tensions remained especially high in the region.