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Military exercise in Iran (archives)
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Iran to launch series of military maneuvers Monday
Three-day exercise to include examination of antiaircraft systems, aimed at upgrading army's combat preparedness, deterring US and Israeli from attacking Islamic Republic
Iran will launch three-day military maneuvers on Monday, which will include the examination of antiaircraft systems, the Iranian Students' News Agency reported Sunday.

 

According to the report, Iran's regular force and the country's Revolutionary Guards will take part in the exercise. No additional details on the nature of the drill were available.

 

According to the Tehran-based English-language newspaper Iran Daily, the maneuvers are aimed at "maintaining and upgrading combat preparedness of the relevant units, introducing innovation and capabilities of aircraft defense experts and test new weapons and defense plans."

 

Alongside its regular army, the Islamic Republic also has the Revolutionary Guards' military, which is a separate army with its own ground, air and navy forces. The Guards were founded in 1979 after the Islamic revolution in Iran, and its men are considered highly loyal to the regime.

 

Iran's chief of staff, General Atallah Salhi, announced last Tuesday that the Iranian air force would be holding a comprehensive military drill during the month of Ramadan, which had just begun in the country. It is unclear whether he was referring to Monday's exercise or to a different maneuver.

 

In a ceremony in honor of the new air force commander, General Hassan Shah Safias, Salhi said that a number of new locally-produced fighter jets will be presented throughout the year.

 

Monday's exercise is apparently aimed at deterring the United States and Israel from launching a possible attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. Western countries fear that Moscow will provide Tehran with advance Russian S-300 missile system should the US work to include Georgia and Ukraine in NATO.

 

The Russian system, also knowns as SA-20, may make it difficult for the Israel Air Force to attack Iran's nuclear sites, as it is capable of discovering some 100 targets at once and firing at aircraft 100 kilometers (62 miles) away.

 

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