Iran has started five days of war games, flexing its military muscles at a time of heightened tension over its nuclear programme.
The exercises are large-scale air defence demonstrations, carried out jointly by the Revolutionary Guard and the Iranian military. The show of strength is meant to show the USA and Israel that Iran is capable of dealing with any military aggression, should the two powers resort to force in dealing with Tehran’s nuclear facilities. Both the US and Israel say they would prefer diplomacy, but have not ruled out military action. Two uranium enrichment plants in Kom and Isfahan are among a number of nuclear sites within Iran. A UN-brokered deal to have Iranian uranium enriched in Russia and France was rejected by Iran on Wednesday. This refusal could mean more sanctions, which would be the fourth set issued over the refusal to stop sensitive nuclear activities. Iran maintains its program is destined for purely peaceful purposes, while the West suspects it of trying to develop nuclear weapons.