DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Iran is holding a military exercise Saturday to test its missile and radar systems, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration imposed sanctions on Tehran for a recent ballistic missile test.
The United States sanctioned 13 individuals and 12 entities related to Iran’s missile program, and Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn said the United States was putting Iran on notice over its “destabilizing activity.”
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards website said that the aim of the military exercise in Semnan province was to “showcase the power of Iran’s revolution and to dismiss the sanctions.” Iranian state news agencies reported that homemade missile systems, radars, command and control centers, and cyber warfare systems would be tested in the drill.
Although tensions between Washington and Iran have risen, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Saturday he was not considering raising the number of U.S. forces in the Middle East to address Iran’s “misbehavior” at this time, but warned that the world would not ignore Iranian activities.
Iran has one of the Middle East’s largest missile programs and held a similar exercise in December to showcase its defense systems, including radars, anti-missile defense units, and short and medium-range missiles.
Tehran confirmed Wednesday that it had test-fired a new ballistic missile, but said the test did not breach the Islamic Republic’s nuclear agreement with world powers or a U.N. Security Council resolution endorsing the pact.
Iran has test-fired several ballistic missiles since the nuclear deal in 2015, but the latest test was the first since Trump entered the White House. Trump said during his election campaign that he would stop Iran’s missile program.