Iran ratcheted up its sabre-rattling on Tuesday when one of its officials warned a preemptive strike against its enemies is possible.
“Our strategy now is that if we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran’s national interests, and want to decide to do that, we will act without waiting for their actions,” Mohammad Hejazi told the Fars news agency, according to MSNBC. Hejazi is the deputy head of the Islamic Republic’s armed forces.
That comes as a U.N. team visiting Iran has no plans to inspect the country’s nuclear facilities and as the country announced air defense war games to practice protecting nuclear and other sensitive sites, the latest in a series of military maneuvers viewed as a message to the West that Iran is prepared both to defend itself against an armed strike and to retaliate.
The U.S. and Israel have not ruled out military action against Iran’s nuclear program.
The official news agency IRNA said the four-day air defense war games, dubbed “Sarallah,” or “God’s Revenge,” were taking place in the south of the country and involve anti-aircraft batteries, radar, and warplanes. The drill will be held over 73,000 square miles (190,000 square kilometers) near the port of Bushehr, the site of Iran’s lone nuclear power plant.
Iran has held multiple air, land, and sea maneuvers in recent months as the tensions increase.
Iran has also docked two warships in Syria as a show of support for the brutal Assad regime.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.