A high - ranking military commander says the Iranian Army ' s Ground and Air Forces will conduct a massive exercise in the southeastern part of the country in mid - November 2013.
Commander of the Iranian Army's Ground Forces Brigadier General Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan told reporters on Monday that advanced domestically designed and manufactured weapons will be tested during the week-long drill, codenamed Qamar-e Bani Hashem. He added that the military exercise will be conducted in an area covering 250,000 square kilometers. “The capabilities of armored and airborne units will be tested in the drill,” Pourdastan also pointed out. Commander of Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili said on Sunday that the Iranian Armed Forces will stage a large-scale joint air defense drill in a mountainous region of the country in late October. He said all Armed Forces units, including the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Basij Forces, will partake in the exercise. Esmaili stated that nearly 8,000 military personnel will be directly involved in the drill, while another 17,000 will provide logistics for the maneuver. Iran’s Army and the IRGC conducted a joint air defense drill, codenamed Modafe’an-e Aseman-e Velayat 4 (Defenders of the Velayat Skies 4), in November 2012. The drill covered an area of 950,000 square kilometers in the provinces of Khorasan Razavi, North Khorasan, South Khorasan, Sistan-and-Baluchestan, Hormuzgan, Kerman, and parts of Fars and Yazd Provinces. Iran has repeatedly stated that its military might poses no threat to other countries, reiterating that its defense doctrine is based on deterrence. Tehran maintains that the maneuvers are defensive in nature and meant to convey a message of peace and friendship to regional countries.