Iranian air defence forces have begun a five-day exercise that will include defence against simulated attack on the nation’s nuclear sites.

The exercises aim to defeat aerial threats to Iran’s nuclear facilities, including reconnaissance and actual assault, and improving cooperation among different units.

The drills will cover an area of 600,000km² in north, south-western Iran and parts of south and central Iran.

Iranian Army Air Defense Chief Brig. Gen. Ahmad Mighani was quoted by the Fars news agency as saying that due to the threats against Iran’s nuclear facilities, it is their duty to defend their nation’s vital facilities and thus this manoeuvre covers Bushehr, Fars, Isfahan, Tehran and western provinces.

Washington fears that nuclear sites are used for military purposes, while Iran states that they are meant for peaceful uses.