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US bases in Persian Gulf should be dismantled: Scholar

In this Nov. 19, 2019 AP photo, made available by the US Navy, a helicopter lifts off from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln as it transits the Strait of Hormuz.

US military bases in the Persian Gulf region are meant to intimidate and threaten countries it considers to be enemies; they should be dismantled and the American military personnel sent home, according to Dennis Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.

In an interview with Press TV on Friday, Etler, a former professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, Etler said, “Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) fired ballistic missiles during normal military drills off the strategic Hormuz Strait. According to Press TV, the Corps staged the strikes against the life-size replica of a Nimitz-class US aircraft carrier, which the American navy usually sails into the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz. The drills featured missiles, vessels, drones, and radars, and were designed to practice both offensive and defensive missions.”

“Sources say that US military personnel stationed at the al-Dhafra base in the UAE and al-Udeid air base in Qatar were placed on alert during Iran's exercises and stayed within bunkers during their duration. The maneuvers highlight the fact that the US has military bases in the immediate vicinity of Iran based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Qatar. US bases in the Persian Gulf region are a direct threat to Iran. They are there not to protect US allies but to confront and contain Iran and give their surrogates cover and freedom of action in the Persian Gulf region to pursue their own interests,” he added.

“In fact, the bases have been used by the US to launch direct military attacks against Iran. The drone that struck a convoy in Iraq that killed Iranian General Soleimani was launched from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. This was an act of war by the US against Iran and Qatar, by allowing use of its territory for US aggression, is directly implicated. US bases in the Persian Gulf region are meant to intimidate and threaten country's it considers to be enemies. There is no legitimate reason for their presence. They should be dismantled and their military personnel sent home,” he concluded.

The Navy of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps has said the IRGC’s ongoing drills simulate actual warzone engagement with real enemy forces and are meant to send across a message of warning to those potentially seeking to undermine the country’s security.

The IRGC said its forces will spare no sacrifice in defending the achievements of the Islamic Revolution as well as the Iranian nation and the Islamic establishment.

In a statement released at the end of large-scale IRGC drills in Iran’s southern waters, codenamed Payambar-e A’zam (The Great Prophet) 14, on Thursday, the public relations department of the IRGC said the elite force will take resolute action to defend the country’s interests and will spare no sacrifice to this end.

The statement hailed that the exercise had achieved its predetermined goals, adding that the exercises "ended successfully with implementation of all [determined] sequences and combined operational drills across the land, sea, air, and space.”

The IRGC also enumerated some of the “elaborate operational drills” carried out during the event, such as unprecedented firing of ballistic missiles from underground launch facilities, destruction of enemy radar facilities, and successful firing of coast-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles that led to destruction of enemy warships.

The maneuvers, which enlisted the IRGC’s Aerospace Division and Navy, spanned the general area of the Hormozgan Province, west of the strategic Hormuz Strait, and the Persian Gulf.

They saw the IRGC staging “all-out and multilayer” strikes against the life-size replica of a Nimitz-class US aircraft carrier. The IRGC’s servicemen began the episode by destroying the mock carrier’s accompaniment with coast-to-sea fire. State television aired footage showing the damage caused to the model vessel following the operational juncture, and the IRGC commandos’ rappelling onto it.

The drills have been monitored by Iran’s first military satellite Nour (Light)-1 that was launched by the Corps into orbit in April. Simultaneously, the satellite relayed a high-resolution vivid image of al-Udeid Air base in Qatar that is reportedly the largest US base in West Asia.

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