State media says Iran has fired cruise missiles as part of a naval drill in the Gulf of Oman
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran fired cruise missiles Thursday as part of a naval drill in the Gulf of Oman, state media reported, under surveillance of what appeared to be a U.S. nuclear submarine dispatched to the region amid heightened tensions between the countries.
Iran’s navy did not identify the submarine, but warned the boat to steer clear of the area, where missiles were being launched from land units and ships in the gulf and the northern part of the Indian Ocean. When asked for comment on the reported submarine sighting, Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, responded: “We don’t talk about submarine operations.”
Iran’s state TV broadcast footage of the missile launches on Thursday but didn’t provide their range or other details. In July, Iran said it test-fired cruise missiles with a range of some 280 kilometers (some 275 miles).
“Enemies should know that any violation and invasion of Iranian marine borders will be targeted by the cruise missiles from both coast and sea,” said Adm. Hamzeh Ali Kaviani, the spokesman for Thursdays’ exercise.
Tensions are rising as Iran ramps up pressure on the West over the tattered atomic deal and the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic.
President Donald Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from Iran’s nuclear deal, in which Tehran had agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Trump cited Iran’s ballistic missile program among other issues in withdrawing.
Following the U.S.’s re-imposition of unprecedented sanctions on Iran, Tehran gradually and publicly abandoned the deal’s limits on its nuclear development as a series of escalating incidents pushed the two countries to the brink of war at the beginning of last year.