The Iranian army began land exercises near the border with Azerbaijan (in the northwest of the country), stressing that it will reveal new weapons, despite Baku’s criticism of Tehran in this regard.
Artillery, drones, and electronic warfare units, with the support of helicopters, participate in the maneuvers, which are called “Fateh Khaybar”.
The commander of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces, Brigadier General Kiomars Heidari, said that for the first time during the maneuvers, long-range precision attack drones will be revealed, in addition to the detection of two anti-armor weapons.
He pointed out that its goal is to “improve the combat readiness of the ground force in this region,” without specifying its time or geographical extent.
Haidari stressed that the presence of Israel and the possibility of the spread of ISIS fighters and terrorist groups in the countries of the region since the war in Karabakh increases the importance of the maneuvers.
He added that Tehran will not tolerate any Israeli presence or the presence of terrorist groups near its borders.
In an interview with the Turkish Anadolu Agency, which was published last Monday, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev criticized Iran’s conduct of maneuvers near his country’s borders, considering it a “very surprising event.” “This is their sovereign right, but why now? Why at our borders?”
The Iranian Foreign Ministry responded by emphasizing that holding military exercises is a “sovereign” decision of the Islamic Republic.
“While there are good and respectful relations between the two countries and the usual channels of communication between the two sides are at the highest level, expressing it in this way is surprising,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said last Tuesday, adding that the exercises were “a sovereign matter and for the sake of peace and stability in Iran.” the entire region.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian reiterated these positions while receiving on Thursday a copy of the credentials of Azerbaijan’s ambassador in Tehran Alizadeh.
Iran and its northwestern neighbor Azerbaijan share a border stretching nearly 700 km.
Iran maintains good relations with its two rival neighbors; Azerbaijan and Armenia. On September 27, 2020, the Azerbaijani army launched an operation to liberate its occupied lands in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, following an attack by the Armenian army on civilian populated areas.
After fierce battles that lasted 44 days, Russia announced on November 10, 2020, that Azerbaijan and Armenia had reached a ceasefire agreement, providing for Baku to regain control of the occupied provinces.