Iranian commander: Military exercises intended to improve readiness

October 2, 2021 - 21:40

TEHRAN — Brigadier General Kiomars Heydari, commander of the Army Ground Force, said on Saturday that Iran has never invaded any country over the last two centuries and has no intention to conquer any neighbor, noting Iran’s exercises are only aimed to improved military readiness.

The comments by General Heydari comes as army has started drill in northwestern Iran since Friday.  

Some officials in Baku have claimed the maneuvers are intended to frighten the Republic of Azerbaijan. 

However, General Heydari said, during the decades-long occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh by Armenia, Iran always was insisting on the need to respect the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and never approved of the occupation.

“The exercises of our armed forces in this region and other regions are based on detailed planning with the aim of testing weapons and equipment and assessing the combat readiness of the armed forces in every scene of the borders of Iran. The timing of the exercises, the location of the exercises and the size of the forces is decided by the armed forces,” he explained. 

The commander underlined that these exercises are aimed at improving military readiness, as several exercises are being conducted in the neighboring country (the Republic Azerbaijan) with their own specific goals.

He also said over the last month Iran has been holding 4 to 5 exercises in northern borders. 

Right now, Turkey is conducting a military exercise near borders with Iran which has it own purposes, the general highlighted. 

Heydari added in this northern region there is an “uninvited and disruptive element of security” that has come from elsewhere, and that is the “illegitimate Zionist regime”.

“Since this regime came (to this region), our sensitivity to this border area has increased; their activities here are completely under our monitoring,” the commander underscored. 

He added that apart from these issues, the exit of terrorist forces that have come to this region from Syria has not yet been proven for Iran.

“Iran is sensitive in this regard,” he asserted. 

General Heydari went on to say that Iran is completely “sensitive” to changes in the official borders of countries in the South Caucasus region and consider it completely “unacceptable”.

The commander said, “All legal borders must be preserved, and the possible weakness of one country in maintaining its borders does not mean that another country” has the right to change “borders with foreign help. The Islamic Republic of Iran will not allow this.”

The ground force chief added that Iran conducts military exercises lonely.

He also said, “We expect the statements of the officials of the countries in this regard to be based on honesty.” 

Heydari also pointed to armed conflict between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Sept.-Nov. 2020, saying now the region is secure and reconstruction efforts have begun.

Clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia started on September 27, 2020 along the Nagorno-Karabakh Line of Contact, which had been established in the aftermath of the First Nagorno-Karabakh War (1988–1994).  The war ended on November 10 through mediation with Russia. The war, which was initiated with by Azerbaijan, led to the liberation of the occupied Azeri lands. 

“Neighbors in this region are a great witness to stability and security in the region,” the general underscored. 

The commander also said that the movement of trucks from Azerbaijan to Iran and from there to Turkey or Nakhchivan, or from Iran to Azerbaijan and Armenia, should be done in complete safety and tranquility. 

“In this regard, countries are expected to pay attention to their responsibility, which is to respect security and economic routes and energy transfer, and to stay away from media games,” Heydari concluded. 

The Army Ground Force has started a military exercise in the northwestern Iran. It is testing armored, artillery, drone, and electronic warfare units under air cover provided by helicopter gunships.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) initially flew over the zone, conducted a surveillance and transmitted aerial photographs of the area to the command center, before the 25th Rapid Reaction Brigade and the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) helicopters carried out a mock air assault.

Army artillery units then fired a series of rounds at designated targets, and subsequently armored units carried out strike force operations.

Throughout the Conquerors of Khaybar drills, IRIAF Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters will reportedly provide air support to operating units.

Iran’s Armed Forces regularly hold military maneuvers to elevate their preparedness and prowess.

The drills serve as a warning message to the enemies against any act of aggression against the Islamic Republic.

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