Iran to hold military exercise near Azerbaijan border

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Azerbaijan AzerbaijanIran’s army put its wary neighbors, Azerbaijan under check that they will be conducting a wide-ranging military exercise near its northwestern border amid long-simmering tensions.

Gen. Kioumars Heidari, who is the commander of the Iranian army’s ground forces, mentioned that the drill would test weapons, assess the combat readiness of troops and demonstrate the country’s military capabilities.

In the operation it would also involve drones, attack helicopters, tanks and artillery. Earlier this week, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said the planned drill stunned him. Each country can carry out any military drill on its own territory. It’s their sovereign right.

But the President was shocked to notice that why the drilled is planned now, especially on their border. It will be the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union that Iran was intending to stage such a show of force so close to its border.

Read | Israel to the UN General Assembly: “Iran nuclear program has crossed all red lines”

Although, it is significant for Iran to conduct this massive display of force since the tensions with Azerbaijan have complicated a vital border passage that trucks use to ferry fuel and other goods from Iran to Armenia. Azerbaijani authorities have detained two Iranian truck drivers in recent weeks for trying to take the route, which is turn have angered Iran.

Ground forces chief Gen. Kioumars Heidari described the presence of Israel in Azerbaijan as “disrupting security” in the region. Their sensitivity toward the border has increased and Israel’s activities here are under the surveillance completely.

However, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian asserted that they do not tolerate the presence and activity against national security of the Zionist regime, or Israel, next to their borders. He further continued that they will carry out any necessary action in this regard.

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