Iranian Army Readying to Stage Anti-ISIL Drills
Iranian Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan announced on Tuesday that his forces are slated to conduct military exercises in the capital, Tehran, to show their preparedness for confrontation against any possible threat by the ISIL terrorist group.
“The Ground Force will conduct counterterrorism drills on (combat against) the threat of ISIL near the city of Tehran in the coming days,” General Pourdastan told reporters today.
He pointed to the importance of boosting the country’s defense capabilities, and said, “We will use any weapon except nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons to defend our country,” General Pourdastan said.
The Iranian Ground Force commander reiterated that any potential threat against Iran will receive crushing response.
General Pourdastan also pointed to military cooperation between Iran and Russia, and said, “The Russian military experts will travel to Iran in the future and our experts will also visit Russia.”
He said that Iran and Russia have a contract on S-300 air defense system, adding that “purchase of Russia’s T-90 tanks is also on Tehran’s agenda”.
On November 22, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari announced that Iranian forces have several times defused attempts by the ISIL terrorist group to stir insecurity in the country.
“The ISIL has long wanted to stoke insecurity in Iran but it has failed,” General Jafari told reporters in Tehran.
He underlined the IRGC and other security and intelligence forces’ superiority over the terrorists, and said, “These groups have different logistical networks and recently one of them was dismantled and other groups are also being fully monitored and will come under raid in due time.”
On November 21, officials in Tehran announced that security and intelligence forces have traced and dismantled two terrorist groups in Iran’s bordering provinces in the Southeast and Northwest.
“Following a series of intelligence operations by security forces in cooperation with the brave people settling along the country’s Eastern borders, a team of terrorists were dismantled in the Southeastern Sistan and Balouchestan province,” Iran’s deputy intelligence minister for domestic security said.
The deputy minister, who was speaking to the state-run TV, indicated that the terrorists have been sent to the country by the US and certain regional reactionary states, and said they had “10 ready-to-blast bombing devices made of 150kg of explosive materials” and “intended to disrupt security along the roads in the bordering region between Rask and Iranshahr” in Sistan and Balouchestan province.
He also said that the intelligence ministry traced and dismantled another terrorist cell in the Northwestern province of West Azarbaijan, adding that the terrorists were affiliated to “anti-revolutionary groups and infiltrated the country to stage terror and sabotage operations”.
The official explained that the terrorists had also staged terror attacks on the lives of teachers and government employees.
Iranian Intelligence Minister Seyed Mahmoud Alavi disclosed on November 17 that the country’s intelligence and security bodies had cracked down on 10 ISIL cells who were preparing to wage a wave of terrorist attacks across the country last month.
“The ISIL is a protégé of the US and Israel,” Alavi said, and added, “Thanks to its vigilance and full intelligence superiority, the Islamic Republic of Iran has blocked any move by them in such a way that more than 10 terrorist cells were discovered and dismantled in the (lunar) month of Moharram (October 15-November 12).”
The intelligence minister, who was addressing Muslim scholars in the Western Kurdistan province, reiterated that the present security is the result of cooperation of security, intelligence, military bodies (Army and IRGC) and the judiciary, and said, “Many of the enemies’ plots have been defused in cooperation with people.”
Moharram is the first month of the year on the lunar calendar and marks worldwide Shiite mournings on the martyrdom anniversary of their third Imam and grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), Imam Hossein Ibn Ali (AS).
A day later on November 18, the IRGC also declared in a statement that it had seized a substantial stockpile of weaponry and military equipment following a raid in the Western province of Kermanshah, dismantling a terrorist group during the raid.
The public relations office of Kermanshah province’s Nabi Akram Corps announced in the statement that the IRGC and security forces’ intelligence and efforts resulted in capturing members of a terrorist team in the province’s bordering areas.
“During the operations to disband the terrorist team, some military equipment was also seized,” the statement added.
Iraq’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari informed earlier that his country had alerted Iran, France and the US of imminent terrorist attacks by ISIL in these countries before the Paris blasts and shootings took place.