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Iran unveiled this week new anti-aircraft missile systems and a plan to “confront U.S. naval forces” ahead of a series of eight new war games that are scheduled to begin in March, according to multiple Iranian press reports.
New anti-aircraft missile simulators have been installed at Iran’s Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base, according to a top Iranian military commander, who said the systems would be used to train soldiers in the art of downing enemy aircraft, according to Iranian press reports.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) simultaneously announced this week that it had established a new organization for its “smart combat vessels.” The new war group was created in response to the “need for confronting U.S. naval forces,” according to Iran’s Press TV.
These announcements were made just over a month before Iran kicks off its next round of war games, which, for the first time, will include “a drill in the cyber field,” according to the state-run Fars News Agency.
Tehran’s latest round of military muscle flexing comes just days after President Barack Obama praised the recently signed nuclear accord during his annual State of the Union address. Iran’s Foreign Ministry responded to the speech by calling Obama’s comments “unrealistic and unconstructive.”
One of the Iranian generals in charge of the upcoming war games said that Tehran is constantly thinking about war.
"When the enemy observes that our Armed Forces are constantly in wargame zones and their fingers are kept on the trigger, it will not dare to invade the Islamic Iran's borders," General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, commander of the Iranian Army Ground Force, was quoted as saying this month by Fars.
Iran’s military is slated to test “new home-made military tools, equipment, and weapons” during the war games, according to Pourdastan.
Meanwhile, a top IRGC commander in charge of the new combat ship war group said Iran is focused on combatting America’s naval presence in the Persian Gulf.
“The U.S. and its allies’ enmity toward the Islamic Revolution is not hypothetical, but rather it is a tangible animosity whose physical manifestation will be in the sea,” Admiral Ali Fadavi, commander of the IRGC’s Navy, was quoted as saying on Tuesday during a public address at an Iranian university.
“They [the United States] are a sea-based military force, and the Persian Gulf is the only part of the world for which Americans use the phrase ‘vital national security interests,’” Fadavi reportedly said. “It is the phrase that they only use for their homeland and the Persian Gulf.”
The newly unveiled anti-aircraft missile simulators will also help Tehran combat Western forces, according to the commander of Iran’s Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base.
The missile simulators are specifically designed to mimic the Hawk and Skyguard anti-aircraft system, both of which are used to down enemy planes from moderate distances, according to Fars.
“We can simulate targets in real-scales and in different classes of missiles, airplanes, helicopters and drones by using these simulators which are completely independent and needless of operating systems,” Iranian Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli explained to Fars.