A massive seven-day joint maneuver involving Iran’s Army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has begun in the eastern parts of the country. The Modafe'an-e Aseman-e Velayat 4 (Defenders of the Velayat Skies 4) military drill was launched on Monday with the order of Commander of Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili. Radar air defense and missile systems as well as tapping, artillery and surveillance systems will be employed during the first stage of the maneuver.
According to IRIB news, F-4, F-5, F-7, F-14, Mirage and Sukhoi fighter jets as well as refueling aircraft will also be deployed in the maneuver.Esmaili said on November 8 that the military drill would be carried out in an area of more than 850,000 square kilometers. Iran has held several major defense drills in recent months amid threats made and accusations leveled against the country's peaceful nuclear program by the US and its allies. Iran has repeatedly stated that its military might poses no threat to other countries, reiterating that its defense doctrine is based on deterrence. Tehran maintains that the maneuvers are defensive in nature and meant to convey a message of peace and friendship to regional countries. MYA/HMV/HJL