Iran opened a large military exercise this morning (Friday) near neighboring Azerbaijan. At the beginning of the exercise, the commander of the ground forces of the Islamic Republic, General Kumars Heidari, threatened Israel, saying that the Iranian army was aware of the “Zionist presence.” “In our area there is an uninvited security component that comes from somewhere else, and that is the illegitimate Zionist regime,” he clarified.
Heidari added that his country also monitors Israeli activity in Azerbaijan. According to the Revolutionary Guards, the military exercise will be extensive and during which the army will test various types of weapons, assess the combat readiness of the soldiers and also show the military capabilities of Iran. , Tanks and cannons.
According to the Iranian IRNA network, as part of the exercise that begins today, Iranian forces and heavy weapons will be stationed close to the tense border with Azerbaijan, which is being prepared for the exercise. Iran has fairly good ties with its northwestern neighbor, and the two have a common border about 700 km long. Despite the relationship, Tehran has recently criticized Azerbaijan for its ties with the West and its military cooperation with Israel.
The Associated Press reported that Azerbaijan and Israel have strengthened their military alliance in recent months. According to the report, as part of the rapprochement, Israel transferred drones that helped divert the confrontation between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the Nagorno.Karabakh region in favor of the former last year. To Armenia.
#BREAKING: Just received some of the first images from exercise “Fatehan.e Kheibar” of #Iran Army Ground Force near the border with #Nakhchivan province of #Azerbaijan Republic right now. This is the exercise which #Aliyev couldn’t sleep well because of that last night! pic.twitter.com/kCpKj3T5C4
– Babak Taghvaee – The Crisis Watch (@BabakTaghvaee1) October 1, 2021
Earlier this week, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said he was “shocked” by the planned exercise. In an interview with the Turkish news agency Anadolu he said: “Any country can carry out any military exercise in its territory. It is its sovereign right. But why now, and why at our border?”. President Alayev also noted that this is the first time that Iran intends to present such a demonstration of power close to the border since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Against the background of these reports, the Iranian Foreign Ministry linked the military exercise that began today with the alleged rapprochement between Israel and Azerbaijan. “It is clear that Iran will not tolerate the presence of the Zionist regime near its borders and in this context it will take whatever action it deems necessary for its national security,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Said Khatibsa told the Iranian news agency ISNA.