War games conducted this week by Iran in the Gulf were intended to send a warning to Israel, the country’s top military commanders said on Friday, amid concerns over possible Israeli plans to target Iranian nuclear sites.
The Revolutionary Guards’ war games, which included firing ballistic and cruise missiles, ended on Friday.
“These exercises had a very clear message: a serious, real … warning to threats by the Zionist regime’s authorities to beware of their mistakes,” Guards chief General Hossein Salami said on state TV.
“We will cut off their hands if they make a wrong move… The distance between actual operations and military exercises is only a change in the angles of launching the missiles,” Salami added.
Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri said 16 ballistic missiles of different classes had been fired simultaneously and had destroyed predetermined targets.
Iran says its ballistic missiles have a range of 2,000 km (1,200 miles) and are capable of reaching Israel and U.S. bases in the region.
Israel, which opposes efforts by world powers to revive Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal, has long threatened military action if diplomacy fails. Iran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz has called on world powers not to allow Iran to play for time at the nuclear negotiations, in recess at Iran’s request and scheduled to resume next Monday.
Israel is widely believed to be the only Middle Eastern country with a nuclear arsenal.