Iranian Army to stage ‘offensive’ military exercise on Tuesday

TEHRAN – The Iranian Army’s Ground Force will hold an offensive military exercise on Tuesday near the country’s southern coasts of Makran, top military generals announced on Monday.

“The Iranian army’s Ground Forces will stage military drill tomorrow, with the participation of airborne forces, special and rapid reaction forces near the coasts of Makran, in the south of the country,” Chief of Staff of Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Bagheri was quoted by the al-Alam news channel as saying.

The military general added, “We have achievements in the defense and military fields that cannot be disclosed.”

Bagheri also said that the only way for the country to neutralize threats and dangers is to get strong in all fields.

Brigadier General Kiomars Heidari, commander of the Army’s Ground Force, said on Monday that the military drill will be “offensive.”

Underlining the unique goals and characteristics of the drill, General Heidari said, “Following the major changes that were done to the structure of the Ground Force’s units in the wake of the order of the Leader of Islamic Revolution, this drill will be held by the Army’s Ground Force in an offensive and target-oriented manner for the first time.”

The Army’s drill comes on the heels of another drill held by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) during which the IRGC fired long-range ballistic missiles into the Indian Ocean.

“One of our most important defense policy goals is to use long-range ballistic missiles against enemy warships, including aircraft carriers and warships,” said IRGC chief Major General Hossein Salami.

General Salami also said that Iran is now capable of striking moving targets in the ocean.

The Iranian military is holding drills amid soaring tensions between Tehran and Washington in the final days of the Trump administration.

In the latest sign of escalation, the U.S. once again flew two B-52 bombers over the region, a move that elicited a strong response from Iranian officials. General Bagheri said the U.S. move has no “operational value.”

“Over the last month, an aircraft carrier, helicopter carrier, and USS Georgia submarine were pulled from the Persian Gulf region to a distance of more than 1,000 kilometers away from Iranian coasts,” the general said on Monday. “The totality of the enemy’s activities, which they call saber-rattling, shows that they are fearful of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s defense capability.”

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also responded to the U.S. move, saying that Iran will not “shy from crushing” invaders.

“@Potus: If your B-52H ‘Presence Patrols’ are meant to intimidate or warn Iran, you should have spent those $billions on your taxpayers’ health. While we have not started a war in over 200 years, we don’t shy from crushing aggressors. Just ask your BFFs who supported Saddam,” Zarif said in a tweet.

He was responding to an announcement by the U.S. Central Command that B-52 bombers have conducted second presence patrol in the region.

“U.S. Air Force B-52H ‘Stratofortress’ aircrews successfully completed a presence patrol in the Middle East today, marking the second such mission of 2021,” the U.S. Central Command said in a statement on Sunday.

SM/PA

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