Held in mid-January, the classified exercise envisioned a “massive” strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and played out multiple scenarios, including mid-air refueling, responding to anti-aircraft munitions, and performing long-range attacks.
An unnamed US Air Force officer allegedly attended the drill as an observer, the outlet added, noting that the official’s presence was unusual for this type of exercise.
The report follows a meeting between US military officials and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz in December, during which similar drills were discussed, according to a senior US official cited by Reuters. While the official declined to elaborate on the plans, they said the exercise would prepare for a “worst-case scenario to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities should diplomacy fail.”
Earlier on Tuesday, the Israeli military announced that it would take part in the massive, US-led International Naval Exercise involving 50 vessels from 60 partner nations and 9,000 personnel. Launched earlier this week, the 18-day drill is being held in the Red Sea off the coast of Bahrain, near the headquarters of the US 5th Fleet.
Tehran denies seeking nuclear weapons, stressing it wants to master nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Iranian officials have also stressed the country reserves the right to respond to any adventurism by the United States and Israel.
Tehran says Israel is well aware of Iran’s capabilities and capacities and its own limited capabilities as well as the fact that the Islamic Republic does not compromise or joke about its national security.
In late December, Iran simulated an attack on the Zionist regime’s nuclear facilities known as Dimona during extensive military drills.
Iran has stressed that the recent wargames were intended to send a warning to Israel.
Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami stated after the exercises that Iran will cut off the hands of enemies if they make a wrong move and that the distance between actual operations and military exercises is only a change in the angle of launching the missiles.
Major General Mohammad Bagheri has also noted the exercise made it clear that Israel’s Iron Dome system can be defeated and penetrated if a barrage of missiles is fired from different directions at a target at once.
The top Iranian general described the drill as one of Iran’s most successful military exercises.
Iran’s ballistic missiles have a range of 2,000 km and the entire occupied Palestine and US bases in the region are within their reach.