The exercises seek to “improve the deterrence power in the face of new threats,” the country’s military has said
Iran has launched large-scale two-day war games in the central part of the country amid rising tensions in the region fueled by the conflict between the Palestinian armed group Hamas and Israel.
The drill, dubbed ‘Eqtedar 1402’, started on Friday in the Nasrabad region of Isfahan province. Brigadier General Karim Cheshak, the spokesman for the exercise, was cited by Iranian media as saying that it involves infantry, various military hardware, warplanes, drones, and means of electronic warfare.
Cheshak also noted that a fleet of about 200 helicopters conducted operations on the first day of the drill. He added that the goal of the exercise is to assess the level of combat readiness of Iran’s ground forces and review combat tactics. Another objective is to “improve the deterrence power in the face of new threats, and also develop stable security,” the official said.
Without specifying the number of personnel taking part in the exercise, the spokesman indicated that it would consist of four stages. While the first one will focus on the transfer of four brigades to the drill area, the second one will involve reconnaissance operations.
برگزاری رزمایش «اقتدار ۱۴۰۲» نیروی زمینی ارتش
— اخبار امنیتی- نظامی (@Tasnim_military) October 26, 2023
The third and fourth stages will be dedicated to coastal defense scenarios and night-time airborne operations, he reportedly said.
Videos shared by local media depict dozens of tanks in the desert landscape, while a number of helicopters prepare to take off from an airport.
Iran’s large-scale war games come after the Pentagon revealed on Thursday that its forces had conducted airstrikes on military installations in eastern Syria, which it said were “used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” an elite branch of the country’s military. It insisted, though, that the attack was not related to the ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas.
The armed group launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, resulting in thousands of dead and injured on both sides. Iran, which has close ties with both Hamas and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah Islamist military group, has repeatedly condemned Israel for what it has described as “war crimes.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned that while Washington does not want a conflict with Tehran, “if Iran or its proxies attack US personnel anywhere,” Washington will respond “swiftly and decisively.”
Tehran has said that its armed forces would not engage in hostilities “provided that the Israeli apartheid does not dare to attack Iran, its interests, and nationals.”