Friday, August 18, 2006

Iran exercise to refine combat doctrine tested in Lebanon

World Tribune:
Iran is set to launch a new round of military exercises in an effort to test its new combat doctrine using weapons systems which were apparently tested in the recent war in Lebanon.

Over the last two years, Iran has been testing a combat doctrine based on asymmetrical warfare. The doctrine was said to include the use of small and mobile land and sea forces to erode a much larger Western military. READ MORE

In April, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps held a week-long military exercise that tested a series of anti-tank, anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles.

Some of those weapons were believed to have been tested in the Hizbullah war with Israel, which ended on Aug. 14. Iran has acknowledged that it trained and equipped Hizbullah.

The Iranian military said several large-scale exercises would begin on Aug. 19 in the southeast. The military said the exercises would consist of several stages and introduce an unspecified defense doctrine meant to counter a U.S. strike.

"The maneuvers are aimed at introducing Iran's new defensive doctrine," military spokesman Gen. Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said on Thursday.

Ashtiani said the exercises would begin near the Afghan border and move throughout Iran. He said no date has been set for the end of maneuvers. "It will continue in the whole of Iran, stage by stage, for an unspecified period," Ashtiani said in statements to the state-run Iranian media. "We have to be prepared against any threat, and we should be a role model for other countries."

The military termed the exercise Operation Blow of Zolfaghar," a reference to the sword of Imam Ali, the inspiration for the Shi'ite religion. In the first stage, the exercise would consist of 12 infantry battalions backed by air and armored forces.

The military announcement marked a resumption of large-scale exercises by the Islamic republic. "Our army is ready to defuse all plots against Islamic republic of Iran," Ashtiani said.

"Human forces can decide the fate of a war," Ashtiani said. "We saw it in Lebanon."