Mon May 23, 2016 7:39AM
Iranian Army’s Ground Forces successfully test-fire a short-range rocket during a major military drill codenamed Beit-ul-Muqaddas 28 in the central province of Isfahan on May 22, 2016. ©IRNA
Iranian Army’s Ground Forces successfully test-fire a short-range rocket during a major military drill codenamed Beit-ul-Muqaddas 28 in the central province of Isfahan on May 22, 2016. ©IRNA
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Press TV has conducted an interview with Ibrahim Mousawi, a political commentator from Beirut, about the recent test of a number of rockets during a major drill in central Iran.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Tell me about the significance of these drills and why it seems to be that we’re seeing them being held more often.

Mousawi: Well, this is a very clear strategy on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran and if you go to Imam Ali (All the prayers of God be upon him), He has said 'anyone who wants peace he has to prepare himself for war.' So, Iran has never exercised any kind of aggression on its neighbors or any country in any part of the world. Iran has always been seeking peace, but at the same time does understand very well how the life and how the world goes; how the world of politics, how the world of aggression (goes).

We have all been able to witness the aggression of the hegemonic powers namely the United States of America. Iran has always been the victim and has always been the target of the Western and American arrogance per se against its economy, against its sovereignty and against its people because of the sanctions that happened. Iran has always been also threatened by the Western powers. We know very well how they were trying to say that they were going to go to war against Iran before reaching the nuclear agreement with Iran.

So, with this kind of continuous upgrading of the military with this continuous development and developing the capabilities, Iran puts itself in a very important place in the world. It sends a very strong message that all these kinds of developments, all these advancements on the military level, are only for defensive reasons, are only to target those who want to target Iran as a defensive measure.

And at the same time, it reserves a seat for itself among the very important and influential parties in the world. I believe this would be the greatest and the most sound way for any country to keep its sovereignty and to defend its legal rights.

Press TV: Well, the projectiles were domestically produced; tell me the significance of that side of things, because we know that Iran basically has been under continuous pressure and sanctions since basically from the early days of the Revolution.

Mousawi: There are two very important (sides to its) significance; the timing of the announcement of the launching of the drills because it coincides with the anniversary of the birthday of Imam Mahdi (All the prayers of God be upon Him). He is going to be the savior of the humanity of all mankind after all the injustices that have been perpetrated against it. And again when we talk about Iran, Iran has always been under siege; Iran has always been under attacks; we remember the eight-year war that was launched by Saddam Hussein against Iran and what it caused.

Iran under all of this siege and (these) sanctions has been able to produce domestically, depending on the minds and the will and determination of its own people, its juvenile youth and generation. All this generation of scientists has been able by itself - depending on itself, detached from all Western powers - to produce, to develop the weaponry, which means that Iran is not going to be blackmailed by any country on how to use them or where to use them - though we know very well that they are not going to be used but for defensive reasons.

This is another salutation, another greeting to Iran on the self-fulfillment, not depending on the East not depending on the West. This is another proof that Iran is an Islamic Republic; it is dependent on its own, which is a unique position for Iran. I don’t know of any other country, who has a parallel or equal situation.