Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard is staging a major military exercise across the country’s south amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard staged a major military exercise across the country’s south on Monday amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program, state TV reported.
The Guard’s aerospace division, ground troops and naval forces joined in the five-day drill, the report said, with maritime forces set to maneuver in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the narrow gateway for 20% of the world’s traded oil.
Gen. Gholamali Rashid, a top Guard commander, vowed a harsh response to any Israeli military action against Iran.
Iranian forces will launch “a crushing attack on all bases, centers, paths and space used to carry out the aggression without delay,” the semi-official Mehr news agency quoted him as saying.
“Any threat to Iran’s nuclear and military bases by the Zionist regime is not possible without the green light support of the United States,” he said.
Earlier on Monday, residents in Bushehr, some 700 kilometers (440 miles) south of Iran’s capital, Tehran, reported seeing a light in the sky and hearing a loud explosion near the Bushehr nuclear power plant.
It was the second time this month that sudden anti-aircraft firing erupted the middle of the night near an Iranian nuclear facility, which Iranian forces hours later described as drill for its surface-to-air missile defense system.
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