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Iran tests drones during military drills

Iran tests drones during military drills
A replica of a U.S. drone is displayed in Freedom Square during the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Tehran, Iran on February 11, 2012. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian | License Photo

TEHRAN, July 3 (UPI) -- Iran announced it struck a mock military base using an unmanned aerial drone during an exercise in the desert in the country's southeast.

Iran is in the midst of military maneuvers it has dubbed Great Prophet 7. The exercise is meant to test Iran's missile capabilities.

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The country's military said an unmanned aerial vehicle bombarded "mock bases of trans-regional forces" during operations in the southeast Lut Desert, Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV reports.

The broadcaster added a series of long- and medium-range missile were launched Tuesday morning.

Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps., said the drills were meant as a response to regional threats.

The "main aim of this drill was to demonstrate the Iranian nation's political resolve to defend (its) vital values and national interests," he was quoted as saying.

The New York Times this week reported the U.S. government has deployed military assets to the Persian Gulf to increase the ability to protect the shipping lanes through the Strait of Hormuz, a key conduit for oil transits from the region.

Tehran and some Western allies are at a standstill over nuclear concerns. Washington had said all options are on the table to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

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