KEY POINTS

  • Iran's Revolutionary Guard conducted military exercises on a mock aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz, boarding the ship and firing missiles at the ship and drone targets deployed in the exercise
  • Tensions have been rising between the U.S. and Iran since Trump pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear deal signed with Iran in 2018 and the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani
  • Trump has called for the creation of a new nuclear deal with Iran to further stifle the country's nuclear development

As tensions continue to escalate between Iran and the U.S., Iran’s Revolutionary Guard conducted military exercises on Tuesday by firing missiles at a mock aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz.

Iranian state media said Revolutionary Guard deputy commander Abbas Nilforoushan was overseeing the Tuesday exercises, dubbed “Great Prophet 14.” Iranian troops were seen roping onto the aircraft carrier from helicopters while boats circled the mock military craft. More troops were then seen firing missiles from land and sea vehicles at and around the carrier.

The Associated Press reported that the mock vessel resembled the Nimitz-class carriers that the U.S. Navy often deploys in the region.

Troops were also seen firing missiles at drone targets deployed as part of the exercise.

“We cannot speak to what Iran hopes to gain by building this mock-up, or what tactical value they would hope to gain by using such a mock-up in a training or offensive exercise scenario,” Commander Rebecca Rebarich said in a press release. Rebarich serves as a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet stationed in Bahrain.

“We remain confident in our naval forces’ ability to defend themselves against any maritime threat.”

The exercises are another example of the growing tensions between Washington, D.C., and Tehran since 2018. Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the nuclear deal with Iran is commonly regarded as the source of the tensions as Trump repeatedly criticized the deal during his presidential campaign and following his election in 2016.

In January 2020, Trump called for other countries to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and create a new deal to stifle Iran’s nuclear development.

“Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism” Trump said in January. “The time has come for the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia and China to recognize this reality. They must now break away from the remnants of the Iran deal -- or JCPOA -- and we must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place.”

These comments came days after Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed in a U.S. drone strike.

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