Iran to Conduct Military Drills in Gulf of Oman After US Provocations

US has flown five B-52 bomber missions near Iran's coast since November

In the face of stepped-up US provocations in the region, Iran will hold military drills off its coast in the Gulf of Oman on Tuesday. The exercises come after the US deployed B-52 bombers to the Middle East on Sunday, the fifth such maneuver since November.

Tuesday’s drills will be conducted by airborne brigades and special units of Iran’s regular army, Iranian Gen. Kiomars Heidari told Iran’s Tasnim News Agency.

Another Iranian military leader addressed the B-52 flights in comments to Tasnim. Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, the top military leader in Iran, said the B-52 maneuvers are “worthless in operational terms.”

Baqeri said the B-52 deployments and other US escalations are proof that Washington fears Iran’s military power. He said the Islamic Republic has carried out multiple war games in recent weeks. Some of those war games included ballistic missile tests, Iran’s main deterrent from direct US attacks.

The military drills in the Gulf of Oman will begin just one day before Joe Biden is inaugurated. The Biden administration is expected to return to diplomacy with Iran and will likely ease tensions, although the Trump administration is doing everything it can to prevent that by ratcheting up tensions until the end.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the assistant news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.