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News number: 8709141113

19:30 | 2008-12-04

Defence

نسخه چاپي ارسال به دوستان

Iran Continues Naval War Games in Persian Gulf

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran conducted the second stage of a four-stage, six-day naval exercise in the Persian Gulf today.



Over 60 warships, as well as other military hardware and equipment, are involved in a large-scale naval exercise, code-named "Unity 87", that will last through December 7.

"During Stage 2 of the Unity 87 exercise, destroyers, submarines, fighter jets, and unmanned aerial vehicles rehearsed detection and effective engagement with aggressive forces," Lieutenant Commander of Iranian Navy Admiral Qasem Rostamabadi said.

He had previously said the drills would also include "multi-phased operations in the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf."

"The aim of this maneuver is to increase the level of readiness of Iran's naval forces and also to test and to use domestically-made naval weaponry," said Adm. Rostamabadi, adding that it was also designed to "enhance the country's deterrence capability."

The Iranian navy has developed exclusive military equipment such as stealth micro submarines and lightweight aircraft in an effort to maintain the sovereignty and integrity of the country's coastal waters.

Iran has launched a domestic weapons procurement campaign aimed at improving its defense capabilities and has announced the development of 109 types of advanced military equipment over the past two years.

Tehran has conducted several high-profile war games this year to display its full preparedness to possible enemies.

A US attack on the Syrian village of Sukkariyah on October 26, has raised speculation about the likelihood of a US unilateral strike on the Islamic Republic.

Speculation that Israel could also bomb Iran mounted after a big Israeli air drill in June. In the first week of June, 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters reportedly took part in an exercise over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece, which was interpreted as a dress rehearsal for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear installations.

Israel and its close ally the United States accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Both Washington and Tel Aviv possess advanced weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear warheads.

Iran vehemently denies the charges, insisting that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.

Iran has warned that it would target Israel and its worldwide interests in case it comes under attack by the Tel Aviv.

The United States has also always stressed that military action is a main option for the White House to deter Iran's progress in the field of nuclear technology.

Iran has warned that in case of an attack by either the US or Israel, it will target 32 American bases in the Middle East and close the strategic Strait of Hormoz.

An estimated 40 percent of the world's oil supply passes through the waterway.

In a Sep. 11 report, the Washington Institute for the Near East Policy says that in the two decades since the Iran-Iraq War, the Islamic Republic has excelled in naval capabilities and is able to wage unique asymmetric warfare against larger naval forces.
According to the report, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Navy (IRGCN) has been transformed into a highly motivated, well-equipped, and well-financed force and is effectively in control of the world's oil lifeline, the Strait of Hormuz.

The study says that if Washington takes military action against the Islamic Republic, the scale of Iran's response would likely be proportional to the scale of the damage inflicted on Iranian assets.

Meantime, a recent study by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a prestigious American think tank, has found that a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities "is unlikely" to delay the country's program.