Iran military drills
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps holds the third day of large-scale military drills in the south of the country. The IRGC’s ground forces successfully performed offensive and defensive operations, using new military weapons, equipment and modern techniques. The forces hit identified targets with heavy and semi-heavy weapons after receiving intelligence on hypothetical enemy. An advanced home-grown tank capable of withstanding heat waves was used for the first time. The five-day maneuvers are code-named the Great Prophet 17. They are carried out in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz regions as well as the coasts of Hormuzgan, Bushehr and Khuzestan provinces. The drills involve a variety of IRGC units. Iran regularly holds military drills to enhance the combat readiness of its armed forces.
Libya vote uncertainty
Just two days ahead of a much-awaited presidential election in Libya, the electoral commission says it is impossible to hold the vote on Friday. It proposes pushing back the vote by a month. In a letter to the Libyan parliament speaker, the commission said it took the decision after consulting the technical, judicial and security reports. The delay was widely anticipated, amid disputes over the election rules including those on who should run for president. Figures deemed as divisive had announced their candidacies. They included Seif al-Islam Kadhafi, a son of former ruler Moammar Kadhafi who was toppled in an uprising in 2011. Another controversial figure was General Khalifa Haftar who led a 2019 conflict against the UN-back Libyan government in Tripoli. That conflict was ended by a last year ceasefire. Now, there are fears that delaying the presidential vote could affect the peace process.
European union divisions
Tensions between Hungary and the European Union are reaching new heights. Budapest says it will not change its migration policy despite a ruling from the EU’s top court. Prime Minister Viktor Orban says the ruling is in contradiction with the the EU’s own law, and that Hungary will keep its current system of border protection. Hungary has passed a law that seeks to combat illegal migration by criminalizing lawyers and activists who help migrants. Last month, the EU’s high court ruled that the law was illegal. But the refusal to comply with the EU court decision has been costly for Hungary. The bloc has moved to penalize the country by blocking its coronavirus recovery funds ,and that in turn has drawn a strong criticism from Hungary’s leader.