Iran is planning a widescale military exercise in the Gulf of Oman, from north of the Indian Ocean and including parts of the Red Sea, Channel 12 News reported.

The exercise will begin on Sunday, and according to the Iranian Tasnim news agency, it may include the use of “new equipment.”

Iranian sources said that they will not hesitate to increase their country’s military abilities, including the power of its missiles. They also said that Iran’s defensive abilities will never be negotiable.

Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, Coordinating Deputy of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army, said ahead of the exercise that the Iranian forces will “show the power of the Islamic Republic in far-off waters, and warn the enemies that any act of aggression will trigger a crushing response.”

Earlier this week, the Iranian government published footage of what they said was a foiled attempt by the US to take over an Iranian oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman. US sources denied the report, Channel 12 noted.

On Saturday, Russia’s RIA news outlet reported that the foreign ministers of both Russia and Iran support a return to the original nuclear deal, which was signed in 2015 and abandoned by former US President Donald Trump. Under that agreement Iran agreed to cease its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of the sanctions against it.

On Thursday, Iran confirmed that it has significantly increased its stockpile of highly enriched uranium.

“We have more than 210 kilograms (463 pounds) of uranium enriched to 20 percent, and we’ve produced 25 kilos (55 pounds) at 60 percent, a level that no country apart from those with nuclear arms are able to produce,” said Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi, according to the IRNA news agency.

On Wednesday, Iran reportedly agreed to resume nuclear talks at the end of this month, on November 29.

The talks in Vienna fell apart in June when hardliner Ebrahim Raisi won the Iranian presidential elections.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with world powers in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

Iran to conduct massive military exercise

Josh Toupos

This post was originally published on this site