TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's regular army has begun a two-day ground and air military exercise aimed at upgrading its combat readiness and increasing its deterrence against possible attacks.
State TV says the drills involve forces in a wide region in western Iran near the Iraqi border. It showed troops parachuting from helicopters near the towns of Sarpol-e Zahab and Qasr-e Shirin, about 700 kilometers (430 miles) west of Tehran.
The war games are taking place amid escalating tensions between Iran and the West over Iran's disputed nuclear program. Israel has hinted that it may take military action if talks fail to get Iran stop its uranium enrichment program.
The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.