Iran to hold major air defense drill: commander

DUBAI Sat Sep 1, 2012 1:56pm EDT

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, August 30, 2012. REUTERS/Hamid Forootan/ISNA

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, August 30, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Hamid Forootan/ISNA

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran will hold a large-scale military drill involving all its air defense systems next month, an Iranian commander was quoted as saying on Saturday, one of a number of military simulations it has carried out this year.

The air defense drill will include fighter jets and simulate emergency situations, said Farzad Esmaili, commander of the Iranian army's air defense force, according to Iran's English-language Press TV.

The drill will include both the army and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Esmaili said, and follows a series of large-scale military simulations such as the "Great Prophet 7" missile exercises in July.

Israeli leaders' warnings that time is running out to halt Iran's controversial nuclear program have raised concern they may order an attack on Iranian nuclear sites, though Israel has come under growing international pressure not to act alone.

Israel and major Western powers suspect Iran is secretly trying to acquire the ability to produce nuclear bombs, but Tehran says its program is for purely peaceful purposes.

"Today our systems are prepared in a serious way for modern air threats, such that the performance of the systems compared to the previous profile has improved," Esmaili was quoted as saying on Friday by the Iranian newspaper Hamshahri.

"The army air defense command's mission, with the development of the national defense mission and coordination between the armed forces, is to undertake appropriate operations against the threats of the enemies," he said, without mentioning any country by name.

Iran announced last month that it had tested a short-range missile with a new guidance system capable of striking land and sea targets.

(Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Tim Pearce)

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Comments (7)
Prof.Taheri wrote:
The details of an Israeli attack on Iran are revealed in Jonathan Bloomfield’s book, “Palestine.”

Sep 01, 2012 3:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
totherepublic wrote:
Won’t do any good with AWACS and Stealth they will not even know what is coming or when it gets there and by the time they hear it they will be dead. Third world sabre rattling against first world, modern warfare technology. Idiots! Isn’t life grand?

Sep 01, 2012 3:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Radioceleb99 wrote:
The US and Israel are on the same page. Anything to the contrary is a Red Herring. There will be US support for an attack, but it will be limited to military defense, infrastructure and nuclear facilities.

The administration’s is letting Israel take the lead in beating the war drums. The Israeli government is engaged in psychological game of Chinese Water Torture aimed at ratcheting up the rhetoric on both sides.

The risk in attacking Iran has nothing to do with the attack itself. Obama understands that sanctions are unlikely to move the current regime to the bargaining table. The tighter sanctions against Iran are designed to impair, degrade and slow their ability to repair their physical infrastructure post attack. The longer the sanctions are in place, the more degraded and weakened Iran will be on the day of the attack. A substantially weakened infrastructure is central to degrading Iran’s ability to project retaliation against their gulf neighbors in the weeks and months that follow.

Sep 01, 2012 7:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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