Iran announced it has launched a major missile test today in a clear and bold warning to the U.S. ahead of Joe Biden’s forthcoming inauguration January 20.
Iran actually began the missile drill today as tensions between the US and the state mount, using its largest warship, the Makran and the Zere which has a missile-launch capability for the two-day drill.
The Islamic Republic has one of the largest missile programmes in the region and has always deployed naval vessels in the Gulf of Oman to flex its military muscle.
The Islamic Republic seized two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman amid high tension between the United States and Iran.
The two ships were detained last week after Iranian funds in South Korean banks were frozen due to US sanctions, while in 2019, Iran had also detained a British-flagged tanker, the Stena Impero in a show of force against the West.
Under Donald Trump, the US has employed a maximum pressure strategy against Iran with Washington imposing severe tariffs on certain industries such as the oil sector and any company which deals with the state.
By doing so, the US has managed to cripple the state’s economy and nuclear proliferation programme.
President Donald Trump also withdrew the US from the 2015 nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), which restricted the state to low levels of nuclear proliferation.
After the move, tensions have mounted high with Washington taking an increasingly hawkish approach to the state.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, this week claimed terrorist group, al-Qaeda had based itself in the state, though there was no evidence provided to back the claim, he stated the terrorist organisation had formed a shell in the Iranian state.
A statement read: “For al-Qaeda, Iran is the new home base. Tehran gives sanctuary to the terror group’s senior leaders as they plan attacks against America and our allies.
“Indeed, since 2015, Tehran has allowed al-Qaeda figures in the country to freely communicate with other al-Qaeda members and perform many functions that were previously directed from Afghanistan and Pakistan, including authorization for attacks, propaganda, and fundraising.”