Iran announced it is ready for war by reportedly launching a series of drills showing off its air power as it accused the US of breaking its nuclear deal.
It launched the three-day war drills, which included the use of US-made planes, on Monday.
Iran’s Artesh Air Force was displaying the Islamic Republic’s air might, according to Iranian military officials.
General Masoud Rouzkhosh said: “The goal of holding this drill is the creation of readiness so as to be able to combat any threat, and should a war occur, the Air Force will be the first force to enter the battlefield.
“The newest armaments of the Air Force like precision-guided bombs and laser-guided missiles will be used in this year’s drill.”
The three-day drills, now in their third day, come after Iran and the US agreed a landmark deal for the country to dismantle its nuclear programme last year.
But Iranian commanders are claiming that the US is not holding up its end of the deal.
They say the armed forces remain committed to removing the American presence from the region.
General Massoud Jazayeri, deputy commander of Iran’s Armed Forces, said: “The bloody wars of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, the continued occupation of Zionists in Palestine, the war of the Ba’ath regime of Saddam against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the conflicts in Lebanon, Bahrain, and other events and incidents where each one thousands of dead and maimed and brought about endless destruction, are only part of the behaviour of the satanic governing body of America in the region.
“The presence of America in the region is a cancerous malign tumour that can only be treated by removing the filthy tumour and the ejection of America from the region,” Jazayeri added.
Khamenei: We will not set back
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has always criticised the nuclear deal and accused the United States of failing to keep its side of the bargain.
“The nuclear deal, as an experience, once again proved the pointlessness of negotiating with the Americans, their bad promises and the need not to trust America’s promises,” Khamenei was quoted as saying by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
Khamenei has also called on Iranian authorities not to back down in the face of the United States’ ever-increasing demands.
“We have, time and again, told [Iranian authorities] that if you surrender in the nuclear [case], they (Americans) will bring up the issue of the missiles. If you back down further, they will pick on the issue of [Iran’s] support for resistance,” Khamenei asserted.
“If you keep backing down even further, they will bring up [the issue of] human rights. Then, if you accept their standards, they will go for eliminating the religious standards in [our] government,” Khamenei added.
Khamenei was pointing to recent remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who has said that Iran’s continued support for unstability and armed militias in the region, which Iran calls resistance movement, made it “very difficult” to help Tehran improve its banking system and business practices.
Khamenei said that some American officials would cite his “pessimism towards the US” during their meetings with Iranian officials, asking, “How can one [ever] be optimistic towards you, given such remarks?”
The praise for Iran’s potentials is not “mere rhetoric,” Khamenei added, warning that hindering Iran’s scientific progress is among the “major goals of enemies.”