Iranian military reportedly warned off foreign surveillance planes 30 times during naval drills
By End the Lie
According to an Iranian military spokesman, Iran has warned off foreign surveillance planes 30 times from approaching their naval forces during the Velayat-91 naval drills in the Strait of Hormuz.
This comes less than a month after Iran claimed they shot down a drone belonging to the U.S. Navy.
The latest round of drills in the Strait of Hormuz began Friday, according to Reuters, and the drills are aimed at showing the Iranian military’s capabilities in the Strait.
“So far about 30 warnings have been given to reconnaissance and surveillance planes of extra-regional forces that wanted to approach the area where the drills are taking place,” Commander Amir Rastegari said to the Mehr news agency.
Rastegari added that the foreign planes had been warned to stay out of Iranian airspace and away from the naval drills.
The area in which the drills are occurring is quite large, with Reuters reporting the six days of drills are being held “in an area of about 1 million sq km.” That figure was also present in an Iranian report.
According to a report by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), “The drill covers international waters in the Gulf of Oman, Strait of Hormuz, North of the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden, and the Bab el Mandeb Strait.”
Voice of America wrote, “The official IRNA news agency quoted Rastegari as saying the foreign planes kept away after Iran issued warnings because they were “afraid of being destroyed” by Iranian forces,” although I was unable to find the quote on the IRNA website.
The same quote was repeated by Reuters and countless others although it cannot be verified at this time.
Yet Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari did tell IRNA, “certain western countries were concerned over Iran’s ongoing military drills since they could not stand the country’s scientific progress and the might of its armed forces.”
“[Sayyari] said Iran has always stressed that there is no movement possible in the region out of the scope of surveillance of the Iranian navy forces,” IRNA added.
However, Reuters reported, “Defense analysts say Iran often exaggerates its military strength.”
“Israel has threatened to launch military strikes against Iran’s nuclear program which many in the West fear is aimed at developing a nuclear weapons capability,” reported Reuters.
Yet as I routinely emphasize, major figures in both Israel and the United States regularly point out that Iran is not, in fact, pursuing nuclear weapons.
Both individuals and entities have countered some of the claims about the Iranian nuclear program including:
- U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (on more than one occasion)
- U.S. intelligence agencies
- Rav Aluf Binyamin “Benny” Gantz, the 20th Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces
Yet these same individuals have turned around and contradicted themselves, so the information about the Iranian nuclear program is confusing at best.
The lack of information has not stopped the Israeli effort to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists. Indeed, in early 2012 U.S. officials anonymously confirmed that the Israeli Mossad trained assassins to kill Iranian nuclear scientists.
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