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Iran Begins Large-Scale Drone Drill, As USS Nimitz Remains In Persian Gulf

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Iran Begins Large-Scale Drone Drill, As USS Nimitz Remains In Persian Gulf

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On January 5th, the Iranian army is set to begin a “joint and large-scale” drone drill with its different divisions.

It is expected to take place in central Iran.

The two-day drill will involve “hundreds of operational drones of the army’s ground, air and navy forces in the general area of Semnan (province) and different parts” of the country, state news agency IRNA reported.

Deputy Commander of the Army Brigadier-General Mohammad-Hossein Dadras on January 4th said that Iran today has become a regional and transregional superpower in producing drones.

Despite imposed sanctions, Iran has made significant progress in designing, manufacturing, and producing various defense equipment, particularly in the field of drones, Dadras underlined.

The Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran always, in accordance with the threats of transregional countries and enemies, takes initiatives to update equipment and hold military exercises, he underscored.

The Iran-manufactured drones will undertake “combat, surveillance, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare” in short- and long-distance flights, the agency added.

IRNA said the army will also showcase its “achievements” regarding drone manufacture in an exhibition with the presence of high-ranking military commanders.

The announcement comes at a time of heightened tensions with the United States, and a day after Iran marked the first anniversary of the assassination of revered Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani.

On January 3rd, the United States decided to reverse its decision and actually keep the USS Nimitz in the Persian Gulf. It earlier reported that it was withdrawing it back.

According to the United States there were “threats” originating from Iran, and in response the USS Nimitz will remain in the region.

Acting US Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said on January 3rd that he changed his mind about sending the aircraft carrier home from the Middle East and instead will keep the vessel on duty.

He cited Iranian threats against President Donald Trump and other US government officials as the reason for the redeployment, without elaborating.

An unnamed Defense Department official told Al-Awsat that the Nimitz will lead military drills with its regional partners in the coming days.

The exercise will take place in the operating zone of the US Fifth Fleet that is based in Bahrain.

He explained that the drill is aimed at ensuring the participants’ ability to respond together to any crisis or emergency.

Earlier in 2020, back in July, and in September, Iran also held large-scale drills in the region.

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