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Iran plans air drills to boost deterrence

Source: Press TV

Iran's Air Force plans to stage a large-scale combat and defensive drills to beef up deterrence against threats from the US and Israel.

Air Force commander Brigadier General Ahmad Miqani said Tuesday that the armed forces would conduct a military exercise, dubbed Defenders of the Sky of Velayat, to enhance aerial capabilities.

The Iranian Air Force will prove its dominance by immediately crushing anyone who dares to try and penetrate Iran's airspace, said Brig. Gen. Miqani.

Saeqeh jet fighters
(file photo)

The extensive air maneuvers will follow the six-day drills held by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) directed at demonstrating Iran's defensive ballistic power.

The IRGC ended an extensive military exercise on Sunday during which Iran successfully test-fired various advanced shore-to-sea, surface-to-surface and sea-to-air missiles.

Iran also tested the upgraded Shahab-3 missile equipped with a one-ton conventional warhead and capable of hitting targets within a 2,000-kilometer range.

Washington, Tel Aviv and their European allies accuse Tehran of pursuing a military nuclear program. Tehran insists its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity and is in line with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

file photo

The most recent UN nuclear watchdog report concluded that there is no link between the use of nuclear material and the 'alleged studies' of weaponization attributed to Iran by Western countries.

While claiming that the West is committed to a diplomatic solution, the US and Israel have repeatedly threatened Iran with the use of military force.

Iran has warned that should the country come under attack, it will target Israel and set US interests in the Persian Gulf ablaze.

Israel drills sought Iran defense info

Israel's military exercise in June was reportedly conducted to put to test the Russian-made air-defense missile system supplied to Iran.

According to a report, the early June Israeli air force maneuver over Greece was aimed at gathering information in a bid to develop tactics to beat the advanced Russian-made S-300 air-defense missile system believed to be on the way to Iran.

The multi-target anti-aircraft/missile systems have reportedly been deployed to the Greek island of Crete.

Earlier in June, a New York Times report revealed that over 100 Israeli F-16s and F-15s flew more than 900 miles off the southern Mediterranean island of Crete, roughly the distance from Israeli airfields to Iranian nuclear enrichment facilities.

Following the report, the Greek Defense Ministry issued a statement, reassuring that its military maneuver with Israel was carried out within the framework of Greece-Israel military cooperation and was by no means aimed at preparing for hostile action.

According to The Cutting Edge News website, Greek officials also said that the S-300 had been 'turned off' during the Israeli maneuvers widely believed to be a 'dress rehearsal' for an airborne strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.

Israel, believed to be the sole possessor of 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in the Middle East, has recently stepped up its war rhetoric against Iran accusing the country of pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

On June 6, a day after the military exercise, Israeli deputy prime minister Shaoul Mofaz told the Yediot Aharonot that Tel Aviv would attack Iran if the country did not halt its nuclear activities.

While the US and Israel accuse Tehran of making efforts to produce nuclear weapons, the most recent UN nuclear watchdog report on Tehran conceded that there is no link between the use of nuclear material and 'the alleged studies' of weaponization attributed to Iran by Western countries.

In response to Western threats, IRGC's naval and ground forces staged a military exercise in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, solely aimed at demonstrating the country's defensive military capabilities against enemy threats.

... Payvand News - 07/15/08 ... --

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