General Pakpour says Iran’s ‘operational doctrine is offensive’

IRGC holds military drills in Persian Gulf

December 22, 2018 - 20:3

TEHRAN - The Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) held on Saturday military drills in the general region of the Persian Gulf, displaying the defensive and deterrent power of Iran.

The drills were last stage of the 12th Payambar-e Azam military exercises the first stage of which had started on December 15 in the central parts of Iran with participation of rapid reaction units, airborne units, demolition and combat units, mid-range missiles, commandos and special forces.

The drills took on Qeshm Island, just off the coast of southern Hormozgan province and in the Strait of Hormuz, where roughly one-third of the world's oil passes through. 

Anti-helicopter mines (AHM) were tested in the drills for the first time.

The anti-armored units of the IRGC Ground Force exercised operations to regain the regions occupied by the mock enemy.

According to the Fars news agency, the BMP personnel carriers were unloaded from a landing craft and entered the coastal areas to evacuate the commandos to free the occupied territories.

The T72 tanks of the IRGC Ground Force also advanced towards the freed areas by leaving their positions in coastal areas and conducting operations.

‘Iran’s operational doctrine is offensive’

Mohammad Pakpour, commander of the IRGC Ground Force, told reporters on the southern Qeshm Island that Iran’s doctrine at operational level is “offensive”.

It was the first time that Iran conducted an offensive operation.

“The Islamic Republic’s strategy is defensive in principle. However, our doctrines at operational tactical levels are offensive. All the tactics displayed in this drill were offensive,” he stated.

According to Press TV, he added, “On the operational level, these maneuvers are offensive, meaning should the enemy seek to resort to threat and its implementation, it will prompt us to turn thoroughly aggressive and offensive, and pursue targets deep inside the enemy front.”

IRGC chief: Iran’s defense power is deterrent
Commenting on the military exercises, Mohammad Ali Jafari, the IRGC chief, said Iran’s defense power is deterrent.

“The drills were response to the enemies’ claims and they should know that defense power of the Islamic Republic of Iran is deterrent,” he said as he inspected the scene of war games exercises.

He added, "We hope the enemies have more than ever grasped the power of our response."

Major General Gholam Ali Rashid, the commander of the Khatam al-Anbiya headquarters, also said that Iran’s armed forces are prepared to counter “any kind of threat”.

“Power of Islamic Republic’s armed forces is within the framework of the country’s national interests and can counter any kind of threat,” he explained.

U.S. aircraft carrier Stennis shows up amid drills

The drills coincided with the return of U.S. aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis to the Persian Gulf on Friday after a long absence, Press TV reported.

The Associated Press reported that some 30 IRGC vessels reportedly followed the carrier and its accompanying warships, at one point launching rockets nearby. 

The news agency also said a commercial-grade drone was also said to have flown by, and one Iranian ship could be seen with photographers and journalists observing the aircraft carrier. 

"The Iranian craft drove in front of our ship and stopped and tried to capture their own sort of picture of what was going on," said Navy Captain Randy Peck, commanding officer of Stennis, told the AP.

“We are trying to be more operationally unpredictable,” said Lt. Chloe Morgan, a spokeswoman for the fifth fleet based in Bahrain.

“Now we’re switching it up because our adversaries are watching closely. We want to be operationally unpredictable to our enemies, but strategically predictable to our partners.”

The U.S. Navy, it said, invited journalists to ride on the nuclear-powered Stennis, whose homeport is Bremerton, Washington, as it transited the Strait of Hormuz. 

Despite being so narrow and within the territorial waters of Iran and Oman, the strait is viewed as an international transit route. 

Tensions have risen since President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal and his threat to bring Iran’s oil exports down to zero. 

President Hassan Rouhani has repeatedly warned any attempt to stop Iran’s export of crude oil could see it close off the strait.

Pakpour on Friday asserted that the IRGC is fully prepared to preserve the country’s sovereignty and stand in the face of "all forms of conspiracy".

"We pose no threat to any country but if the enemies seek to implement their malicious intentions and attack us we will be absolutely aggressive and attack the enemies with all might and we are practicing these tactics in these exercises," Pakpour asserted.

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