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Iranian official: IRGC's drills not directed against neighboring states

26 October 2022 17:01 (UTC+04:00)
Iranian official: IRGC's drills not directed against neighboring states

By Sabina Mammadli

The military exercises of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) taking place in the province of West Azerbaijan are not directed against neighboring countries in the South Caucasus, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani stated.

He made the remarks at a weekly press conference.

"The exercises of our armed forces in the region are not directed against any neighboring state (in the South Caucasus). Those who were supposed to receive a notification about Iran's military exercises have already received it and will receive it again," Kanaani said.

During the recent escalation on the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border on 12-14 September, Iran increased its concentration of armored units near the Araz River.

A meeting between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi took place on the margins of the Sixth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) on 13 October. During the meeting, Aliyev told Raisi that Azerbaijan was continuing efforts to ensure peace and security in the Caspian Sea and the South Caucasus region.

Further, on October 17, the Iranian IRGC kicked off large-scale military drills of its ground forces in the north of the country in the area of the Araz River. Then ensued a three-day military drill, codenamed IRGC Ground Forces Might. The location of the exercises, which includes Iran’s East Azerbaijan and Ardabil provinces, is home to a large ethnic Azerbaijani population.

Mohammad Pakpour, ground forces commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) — also known as Sepah — said the exercises include practicing the construction of a bridge over the Araz River and capture of strategic positions.

"The message of these exercises for the neighboring countries is the strengthening of peace, friendship, and stable security, and for the enemies, it is that the IRGC is ready to protect the borders of the country and respond to any threats," IRNA said, citing Pakpour.

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Sabina Mammadli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SabinaMmdl

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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