Fourteen missiles were fired by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on Tuesday, day two of the 10-day war games entitled “The Great Prophet 6.” The games are designed to be a display of strength toward Iran’s two prominent adversaries: the U.S. and Israel.
The Islamic Republic News Agency said the Guards fired nine Zelzal missiles, two Shahab-1s, two Shahab-2s and one upgraded Shahab-3 missile, according to Reuters. The missiles launched on Tuesday have a range of 1250 miles, far enough to reach Israel and U.S. military bases.
"The range of our missiles has been designed based on American bases in the region as well as the Zionist regime," says Comander Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace department, reported Reuters.
Iran has been invigorated by perceived American military defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military bases in these countries are seen as easy targets. "The Americans have reduced our labors," says Hajizadeh, according to Reuters. "Their military bases in the region are in a range of 130, 250 and maximum 700 km in Afghanistan which we can hit with these missiles."
Iran announced that the war drills are a “message of peace and friendship to countries of the region.” The Islamic Republic stated it felt no exterior threat, apart from the U.S. and Israel, and that the missiles pose no danger to Europe. Tehran stated it has the technical capability to build missiles which could reach Europe. However, right now there is no intention of pursuing it, reported Reuters.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, insisted the flexing of military muscle is for defense purposes only. However, he added: "The westerners' concern is a source of delight for us, because we will not allow any country to have a greedy approach toward our country's interests and territorial integrity,” Reuters reported.
Hajizadeh’s deputy commander, Hoessein Salami said, "We still have our fingers on the trigger, but the number of the triggers have increased."
The U.S. and Israel have not ruled out air strikes as a way to halt Iran’s nuclear program, which it fears is designed to produce nuclear weapons. Tehran denies this claim, stating that its program is for generating electricity only.