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Iran conducts military exercises in warning to incoming US administration

IRAN began military drills on the Gulf of Oman coast today, launching anti-warship ballistic missiles at simulated targets and conducting exercises involving paratroopers, commandos, fighter jets and helicopter gunships.

The show of force follows the US deployment of extra warships to the Gulf and is seen as a way to press incoming US president Joe Biden to re-enter the nuclear development deal torn up by incumbent Donald Trump.

Tension between Washington and Tehran reached boiling point following the murder — likely by Israeli intelligence — of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November following a summit between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Since then the US has sent B-52 bombers, an aircraft carrier and a nuclear submarine to the Gulf, and Iran has seized a South Korean oil tanker.

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