TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) test-fired ballistic missiles against targets in the Indian Ocean as they wrapped up a two-day exercise Saturday.
The missiles of "various classes” targeted "the enemy’s battleships and destroyed them from 1,800 kilometers (1,125 miles) away,” according to the Sepahnews website.
The missiles were fired from central Iran at targets located in the northern Indian Ocean, the IRGC said.
A video released by national television showed two missiles being launched and targets being hit at sea.
Iran’s armed forces chief of staff Major General Muhammad Baqeri was present on the second day of the drill, alongside IRGC chief Major General Hussein Salami and aerospace commander Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh.
"One of our major goals in defense policies and strategies is to be able to target enemy ships, including aircraft carriers and battleships, using long-range ballistic missiles,” Gen. Salami said, quoted by Sepahnews.
With these missiles, he said, "we can now strike moving targets in the ocean,” instead of the usual low-speed cruise missiles.
Gen. Baqeri said the launch showed Iran was ready to respond to any "ill will” by its enemies, warning that in such cases "they will be targeted and destroyed by our missiles”.
"We do not intend to carry out any attack,” he said, adding the exercise showed Iran’s readiness to defend itself "with all its strength” against any aggressor.
Dubbed Great Prophet 15, the exercise also featured a drone attack on a missile defense system followed by the launch of a barrage of "new generation” surface-to-surface ballistic missiles.
The war games come at a time of rising tensions in the wake of provocative U.S. movements in the Persian Gulf in the final days of President Donald Trump’s administration.
It was Iran’s third military exercise in less than two weeks after a naval exercise in the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday and Thursday, and an army drone drill on January 5-6.
The exercises started two days after Iran marked the anniversary of the assassination of legendary IRGC commander General Qassem Soleimani, martyred in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq in January last year.
Iran has the Middle East’s most potent missile capability, regarding them as a deterrent and retaliatory force against the United States and other adversaries in the event of war.