Iran’s Artesh Air Force began a three-day series of drills for the purpose of showing off their air strength. Iranian military officials told the country’s state-run press that the drills are in preparation for an upcoming war.
Independent translations of the original Farsi provided to the Washington Free Beacon, quote Iranian Air Force Gen. Masoud Rouzkhosh as saying, “The goal of holding this drill is the creation of readiness so as to be able to combat any threat, and should a war occur, the Air Force will be the first force to enter the battlefield.” He added, “The newest armaments of the Air Force like precision-guided bombs and laser-guided missiles will be used in this year’s drill.”
Credo writes that, “Iran is using many American-made jets in the drills, including F-4 and F-5 warplanes, as well as large Boeing airliners, which are aiding in mid-air refueling tactics, experts told the Free Beacon. Iran also is using Russian-made warplanes. The three-day air drills, now entering their second day, come as senior Iranian officials repeatedly accuse the United States of violating its side of the nuclear agreement.”
Iranian officials maintain that they will continue their activities in the region, despite objections from the United States. Farsi-language reports quote Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, head of Iran’s Judiciary, as saying in on Monday, “When they ask the foreign minister of America why do you violate your commitments under the JCPOA, they say we have acted on our commitments and even gone further than they require. However, Iranians must do certain things, such as ceasing their support for terrorists and halting their missile activities.” Larijani continued, “However, what they mean by terrorists are resistance groups like Hezbollah of Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine, which have stood against the violations and crimes of the Zionist regime.”
Reportedly, Iranian officials have pressed the United States to explain why America is not upholding its end of the nuclear deal. Outrage comes just months after the Obama administration paid Iran $1.7 billion, as part of what lawmakers described as a ransom payment to free American hostages.
The Obama administration also has moved forward with new sanctions which will provide Iran with even more financial resources, although Congress suspects that it may be allocated to the country’s military and terrorist organizations.
“Top Iranian military commanders say the armed forces remain committed to removing the American presence from the region,” writes Kredo.
“The bloody wars of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, the continued occupation of Zionists in Palestine, the war of the Ba’ath regime of Saddam against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the conflicts in Lebanon, Bahrain, and other events and incidents where each one [has featured] thousands of dead and maimed and brought about endless destruction, are only part of the behavior of the satanic governing body of America in the region,” deputy commander of Iran’s Armed Forces General Staff, Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri, was quoted as saying when the war drills began.
He added, “The presence of America in the region is a cancerous malign tumor that can only be treated by removing the filthy tumor and the ejection of America from the region. In Iran, nobody will permit America to tie its failure to live up to its commitments to defense issues and the interests of the resistance”.
According to regional experts, Iran’s rhetoric is part of an effort to squeeze more concessions from the Obama administration during the final months of its term. Behnam Ben Taleblu, senior Iran analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Free Beacon, “These comments are part of a calculated gamble to gain additional sanctions relief without any meaningful changes in Iranian behavior. By constantly referring to perceived failures in American compliance with the accord, Iran is able to threaten the durability of the deal, thereby demonstrating it has exit options.”
Further, Taleblu said, “For months now, Iranian officials have provided a steady stream of criticism against the West for allegedly failing to live up to its own promises pursuant to the accord that would grant Tehran meaningful sanctions relief.”
The Obama administration has moved forward with plans to boost Iran’s access to the global financial system, so Iran’s efforts have appeared to have paid off.
“Just recently, Secretary Kerry attested to the U.S. going above and beyond the terms of the accord,” Taleblu explained. “This was noted by officials in Tehran like Ayatollah Larijani as not being enough. This is a tried and true tactic by Tehran. During the negotiations with the P5+1 that led to the JCPOA, Iran was able to force concessions by upping the ante. This was most notably seen with the centrifuge cap. Now, in the deal implementation era, Iran is upping the ante in an attempt to garner additional relief.”