October 12, 2021
Iran’s army and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have launched a joint military exercise with a focus on air defence that they say will encompass half the country’s airspace. The two-day drill, launched in Iran’s central desert area in the early hours of Tuesday, was led by the Khatam al-Anbia Air Defence Headquarters. As part of the exercise, which military commanders said aims to closely replicate war, manned and unmanned aerial vehicles and missiles were to be launched against ground targets in order to test the performance of air defence and radar systems. State television broadcast footage that showed several missiles being launched from locally manufactured air defence systems. Iranian officials said on Tuesday that one of the goals of the drill was to demonstrate that Iranian armed forces can defend the “sensitive and vital centres” of the country.
This is the largest air defence exercise Iran has ever conducted. Iran’s top general said that the systems taking part were the answer to “Israel’s threats.” He said that everything used was produced from top to bottom by Iran’s military industry and capable of “accurately meeting any threat.” Clearly Iran is trying to convey a message that says if the nuclear deal talks break down entirely they are ready to defend themselves. Earlier in October, Iran held a drill near its border with Azerbaijan, putting on a display of military capabilities near a neighbour it is increasingly sceptical of for its ties to the West and Israel. Iran has a big part to play in the coming conflict in the Middle East. It is not only part of Russia’s invasion of Israel – but prior to that it is the power behind the inner ring war – Iran controls Israel’s nearby enemies eg Hezbollah.
For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur [Iran?] also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah. (Psalm 83:5-8)
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