Iran’s Revolutionary Guards test-fired several “advanced” rockets during military exercises on Monday, the Iranian media reported. “Different types of smart and precision-strike rockets were successfully test-fired today, which demonstrated the power of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Brigadier General Pakpour, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (I.R.G.C.) Ground Force told reporters. I.R.G.C.-affiliated outlets added that the first phase of the war game – dubbed Payambar-e Azam 11 (The Great Prophet 11) – began in Dasht-e Kavir in central Iran on Monday and would last for three days. The I.R.G.C. commander also revealed that Fajr 3, 4 and 5 rockets were among those rockets launched during the drill.  

Comment: The I.R.G.C.’s military drill comes amid heightened tension between Washington and Tehran over the latter’s test-launch of ballistic missiles that U.S. officials say violate the U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 because they are inherently capable of carrying nuclear warheads.  While the Fajr rockets test-fired during Monday’s drills only have an average range of about 100 kilometers and do not directly threaten the security of Israel or U.S. military bases in the region, the use of such weapons by Iran’s proxies have been a matter of concern for the United States and regional countries for many years. Both Hamas and Hezbollah militant groups have used Fajr rockets to target Israel for more than a decade. In 2012, I.R.G.C. Chief Commander Ali Jafari publicly admitted that Iran had supplied Hamas with the technology and knowhow to develop Fajr-5 missiles capable of hitting the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.