PUBLISHED: 19:09, Tue, Jan 5, 2021 | UPDATED: 19:16, Tue, Jan 5, 2021
Iran and the regional forces it backs have increasingly relied in recent years on drones to carry out attacks in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and against shipping in the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf. The semi-official Fars news agency said the Iranian Republican Guard was testing combat drones used as bombers, interceptors and in reconnaissance missions in a two-day exercise in central Semnan province.
The fingers of our heroic armed forces are on the trigger
Mohammad Baqeri, chief of staff of Iran's armed forces, said: "The fingers of our heroic armed forces are on the trigger, and if enemies commit the slightest mistake, the armed forces will surely respond fiercely."Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
The drills come after Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Donald Trump of trying to find excuses to attack Iran in his last days in office and warned Israel might also try to provoke a fresh war in the Middle East.
The exercises coincided with increased tensions between Iran and the US two days after the first anniversary of the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike at Baghdad airport and two weeks before Joe Biden takes office.
Iran has launched a series of military drone exercises (Image: GETTY)
Iran has developed a large domestic arms industry in the face of international sanctions and embargoes barring it from importing many weapons.
Western military analysts say Iran sometimes exaggerates its weapons capabilities, though concerns about its ballistic missiles contributed to Washington leaving the nuclear pact.
The Pentagon believes Iran-linked militia in Iraq have stepped up their surveillance of US troops and bases in the country by using off-the-shelf, commercially available drones.
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Chief of staff for Iranian Armed Forces Gen Mohammad Bagheri attends the launch of drone exercises (Image: GETTY)
Iran has become increasingly