"Iran to hold large-scale maneuver late September"

Sat Aug 31, 2013 21:03:14

A senior Iranian commander says the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Army is set to stage a massive military maneuver in late September 2013.

Commander of Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili said on Saturday that the exercise dubbed the Modafe'an-e Aseman-e Velayat 5 (Defenders of the Velayat Skies 5) would be held late in September.

Esmaili further said the maneuver would be larger than the previous military exercise, which was held in eastern Iran last year.

The commander said that various long-range radars and passive defense systems would be tested during the drill, adding that the maneuver would cover hard to reach valleys under extreme weather conditions.

Iran has held several major defense drills in recent months amid threats made and accusations leveled against the country's peaceful nuclear program by the US and its allies.

Iran’s Army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) conducted a joint drill, named Modafe’an-e Aseman-e Velayat 4 (Defenders of the Velayat Skies 4), in November 2012.

The drills covered an area of 950,000 square kilometers in the provinces of Khorasan Razavi, North Khorasan, South Khorasan, Sistan-and-Baluchestan, Hormuzgan, Kerman and parts of Fars and Yazd Provinces.

Iran has repeatedly stated that its military might poses no threat to other countries, reiterating that its defense doctrine is based on deterrence.

Tehran maintains that the maneuvers are defensive in nature and meant to convey a message of peace and friendship to regional countries.


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