17:01 GMT +316 October 2019
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    In this Monday, March 25, 2019 file photo, President Donald Trump smiles at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, after signing a proclamation in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington

    Iranian Soldiers Drill Using Netanyahu, Trump Cutouts for Target Practice (Photos)

    © AP Photo / Susan Walsh
    Middle East
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    Photos posted by the Iranian Tasnim News Agency show Iranian troops running through drills that included targets bearing images of US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    The photos posted by Tasnim came from the Special Shotgun Fighting Shootout, a tournament in which roughly 100 soldiers participated. The photos were posted on July 20 (29 Tir on the Persian calendar).

    While most of the photos show soldiers running through the standard drills, such as shooting from behind a variety of barriers at various distances and with obstacles such as fire and smoke, several show the targets the soldiers used: cutouts bearing the likenesses of Netanyahu and Trump - two world leaders who have been leading the charge toward war with Iran - riddled with bullet holes.


    Photos from the Special Shotgun Fighting Shootout, in which Iranian soldiers used as targets images of US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    A cutout of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used as a target by Iranian soldiers
    Cutouts of US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used as targets by Iranian soldiers

    According to Tasnim, the purpose of the event was to “assess the readiness and skill of the participants in shooting and engaging in various positions in a situation close to the battle scene.”

    Of the participants, 20 reached the final round of the contest. There was no report as to who won. However, the leaders’ likenesses clearly lost.

    Tensions between the three nations have simmered for months, nearly threatening to boil over into full-blown military conflict in late June, with Trump supposedly calling off airstrikes on Iran just minutes before they were set to begin. Both Netanyahu and Trump have long accused Iran of breaking the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal, which they denounce as a mistake and out of which Trump took the US in May 2018.

    Iran has denied breaking the terms of the deal, which was designed to halt a prospective Iranian nuclear program in exchange for the lowering of economic sanctions. However, with the US reimposing those sanctions and the remaining signatories of the JCPOA failing to live up to their promises to maintain trade connections, Tehran has in recent weeks begun to test the limits of that agreement, increasing the amount of nuclear material it has refined.


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    tournament, Tasnim News Agency, Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump, target practice, soldiers, Iran
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