Iranian media say the military has begun large-scale air defense war games aimed at protecting the country's nuclear facilities from attack.
A military official says the drills will last five days and will cover 600,000 square kilometers in parts of central, western and southern Iran. Brigadier-General Ahmad Mighani told Iran's Fars news agency, Saturday the drills involve Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards and other military units. He said the exercises simulate an attack on Iran's nuclear installations.
Iran often holds military exercises to show its readiness to fight perceived threats to its controversial atomic program. The United States and Israel have not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue.
The head of the Revolutionary Guards' air force, Amir Ali Hajizadeh said Sunday that if Israeli fighter-bombers managed to escape from Iran's air defense system, Iran's military would strike Israeli bases with surface-to-surface missiles.
Speaking in Cairo Sunday, Israeli President Shimon Peres said Israel is not threatening anyone. He said his nation is against the present leadership of Iran, not the Iranian people. Israel is widely suspected of having nuclear weapons, a charge Israeli officials do not confirm nor deny.
On Saturday, a top cleric in Iran, Mojtaba Zolnour, warned Iranian missiles will target the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, should Israel attack Iran. Zolnour, a representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the Revolutionary Guards, made the remarks to state media.