Iran’s armed forces are preparing to launch three days of drilling in the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean, Tasnim has reported, citing Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, the veteran Iranian officer who will command the exercises.
The drills, dubbed ‘Zolfaqar-99’, will kick off Thursday, and involve Navy, Army, Air Force, and Air Defence units, and cover some 2 million square km worth of territory in the eastern waters of the Strait of Hormuz, the Makran coast, the Sea of Oman and the northern Indian Ocean.
According to Sayyari, the naval component will include the use of ships, aircraft, and subs, including the Fateh submarine, the first of a new series of Iranian-made semi-heavy submersibles.
The Army will practice offensive and defensive operations, including an operation to capture beachheads and engage in a ‘decisive confrontation’ against the enemy, and operations using the Simorgh long-range reconnaissance and strike drone.
“Security in West Asia and its vital and strategic waterways requires indigenization of security and constructive cooperation from all regional countries and preventing a foreign presence in regional waters,” Sayyari said.
#Nedaja unveils its first Simorgh high-altitude long-endurance unmanned combat and recon aircraft at #Nabovat Third Naval Zone in #Konarak، #Makran sea.#Simorgh is a naval model of the famous #Shahed129 HALE UACV & has a flight ceiling of 25,000 ft & range of 1,500 km.#ایران pic.twitter.com/igQ6PiScSO— Iran Military (@Iran_Military) December 7, 2019
“Improving the combat readiness and capability of naval, air, [air] defence and ground forces by conducting joint exercises and countering transregional threats by practicing operational plans and ensuring their adequacy in the face of any possible aggression are among the goals pursued in this exercise,” the commander added.
Sayyari warned that “the enemies of the Islamic Republic should know that in case of any strategic mistake, the geography of the battle and Iran’s response to their actions will not be limited to West Asia and they will face a wide battlefield.”
Iran has increased the frequency, scale and scope of its military exercises in the recent years, particularly after the Trump administration’s May 2018 withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the reimposition of crushing banking and energy sanctions against the country.