After threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard launched maneuvers in the southern part of the country Saturday, well south of Tehran, but north of the strait.Ali Akbar Dareini at The Associated Press reports these most recent exercises followed warnings by Iran’s Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei regarding potential attacks by the U.S. and Israel (via Stripes).
It’s a warning that’s easy to believe after Western nation’s increased their Gulf presence, brought in the USS Abraham Lincoln, and Mossad allegedly attacked yet another Iranian scientist.
Despite threats to close the strait following the most recent round of oil sanctions against Tehran, Iran has yet made no attempt to shutter the waterway.
Iran concluded a larger Naval exercise in the area last month and plans for new maneuvers have been talked about for weeks.
These latest military actions follow Kevin Flower’s Thursday report that Israel’s vice prime minister Moshe Ya’alon said Iran is working on a long-range missile, able to deliver significant payloads over 6,200 miles. It’s about 6,100 miles from New York City to Tehran.
Ya’alon went on to suggest that the mysterious explosion at an Iranian compound last year was, in fact, the development facility for the long-range missile.
He said the project was “aimed at America, not us.” Ya’alon used the situation to highlight the fact that Iran poses a “military problem,” which must be addressed sooner rather than later.
“Such a non-conventional regime should not have such non-conventional capabilities,” he said.
Fars originally reported on the November explosion, saying it was so strong the blast was felt 28 miles away, and that the arsenal was on a military base in Biganeh, outside the city of Karaj.
Even at the time it was widely believed the incident had something to do with the IAEA’s recent report on Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions.
Within weeks it was evident that the explosion killed 17 people, and devastated far more than Iranian officials reported.
The Institute for Science and International Security released satellite images on November 30 showing the base before the blast occurred, and after.
William Broad at The New York Times reported then, that the site was being used to develop missiles capable of hitting Israel with “a strong punch in the mouth.”
While today’s announcement by Ya’alon doesn’t refute Broad’s claim, it certainly enhances it by saying the missiles being produced on the site could hit Israel, but their goal was to hit the United States.
On top of all this speculation, Debkafile’ asserts that not only are U.S. targeted missiles in the works, they are complete, and Iran’s nuclear program has reached fruition.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.