The Ground Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps is holding the main and final stage of massive exercises in the general area of the Persian Gulf.
Payambar-e A’zam (Great Prophet) 12 entered its final chapter in the littoral area on Saturday. “Displaying sustainable power and security under the auspices of national unity and building new defense capacities” has been the last phase’s slogan.
The annual exercise enlists the Ground Force’s elite units. These include the rapid response unit, the special forces, commandos, combat and reconnaissance drones, the electronic warfare unit, engineering corps, and the Zolfaqar fast patrol craft.
Various attack, transport, and airdrop helicopters are flown during the event.
According to Tasnim news agency, the Cobra gunships deployed in the last stage have been equipped with enhanced thermal cameras of the RU-290 make.
The equipment, it said, has been enhanced with laser rangefinder and is capable of tracing and detecting targets in various environmental conditions, including sheer darkness, fog, smoke, and particulates-ridden surrounding air.
During a press conference on Qeshm Island, Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said that the last phase of the drills will be featuring “aggressive operation” as a component of defense in the Islamic Republic’s defensive doctrine.
“On the operational level, these maneuvers are offensive, meaning should the enemy seek to resort to threat and its implementation, it will prompt us to turn thoroughly aggressive and offensive, and pursue targets deep inside the enemy front,” Pakpour noted.
“Our goal is to crystallize a precise and realistic image in the enemy’s mind of our deterrence and defensive equations,” the commander said.
The enemy should make allowances in its calculations for the fact that our defense is a combination of defensive and offensive engagement, with more emphasis placed on the aggressive side.
“The Ground Force’s past experience of fighting terrorism, securing borders, and the experience resulting from recent wars have given rise to new doctrines,” the commander stated.
Pakpour asserted that the Force is fully preparedto preserve the country’s sovereignty and stand in the face of all forms of conspiracy.
Also, the drills are to witness amphibious operation and seizing of bridgeheads along the coastline, he separately mentioned.
US aircraft carrier back in Persian Gulf
Also on Friday, a US aircraft carrier sailed into the Persian Gulf.
USS John C. Stennis was breaking its longest absence in the waters, which had lasted since at least 2001.
The deployment was also the first of its type since the United States unilaterally and illegally left a multiple nuclear accord with Iran and other states.
Ever since, Washington has returned all the sanctions that had been lifted under the accord, including oil sanctions.
It has also threatened to stop Iran’s oil exports through the Persian Gulf. Tehran has warned it would prevent all oil exports through the waterway’s Strait of Hormuz entry point if the US implemented the threat.