Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard forces hold a military exercise, involving ballistic missiles and drones, at a time of heightened tensions with the United States in the final days of President Donald Trump’s administration.

A missile is launched by Iran's military during a navy exercise in the Gulf of Oman, in this picture obtained on January 14, 2021.
A missile is launched by Iran's military during a navy exercise in the Gulf of Oman, in this picture obtained on January 14, 2021. (Reuters)

Iran's Revolutionary Guards has fired "abundant" surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and tested locally manufactured new drones in a military exercise, state television reported.

The Friday's drill, which was overseen by Guards commander Major General Hossein Salami in the central desert region, came in the waning days of high tensions with US President Donald Trump’s administration.

It followed short-range naval missile tests on Wednesday, as well as exercises earlier this month that featured a wide array of domestically produced drones.

"The bomber drones struck the hypothetical enemy missile shield from all directions, completely destroying the targets," the state TV broadcast said of Friday's drill.

"Also, an abundant number of a new generation of ballistic missiles were fired at selected targets, inflicting deadly blows to the hypothetical enemy bases."

READ MORE: In retaliation, the Islamic Republic of Iran goes ballistic

Rising tensions with US

Iran, which routinely boasts of technological advances in its armed forces, has one of the biggest missile programmes in the Middle East, regarding them as a deterrent and retaliatory force against US and other adversaries in the event of war.

Tensions are again rising in the waning days of the administration of President Donald Trump, as Iran ramps up pressure on the West over the US sanctions campaign against the Islamic Republic.

Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew the US from Iran’s nuclear deal, in which Tehran had agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

Trump cited Iran’s ballistic missile program among other issues in withdrawing from the accord.

When the US then increased sanctions, Iran gradually and publicly abandoned the deal’s limits on its nuclear development.

US President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on January 20, has said Washington will rejoin the deal "if Iran resumes strict compliance" with the agreement that imposed strict curbs on its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions. 

READ MORE: Is Iran gearing up to take revenge on the US?

Source: Reuters