Iran top general: US overflights in Persian Gulf void of operational value
Zarif: We do not shy away from crushing the aggressors
Iran’s top military commander has downplayed the United States' most recent flight of its bombers over the Persian Gulf in a show of force aimed at the Islamic Republic, saying such maneuvers instead indicate that the Americans are fearful of the Iranian military might.
“Flights by two American B-52 bombers over the region and their return [to their home bases] does not bear considerable operational value,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Major General Mohammad Baqeri said on Monday.
The US has stepped up its provocative moves in the region, using B-52 bombers and its other warplanes as well as its military vessels in the waning days of President Donald Trump, Press TV wrote.
“The set of actions which they [the US] have called a display of power, indicates that they are fearful and in awe of the Islamic Republic’s defensive might,” Baqeri said.
The Iranian Armed Forces, he added, are fully prepared to defend the country’s security and interests, knowing that the enemy “is incapable of doing anything in light of the forces’ preparedness.”
Iran's military forces, including the Army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), have conducted more than 10 maneuvers in recent days.
The exercises featured tests of drones in the Sea of Oman and northern Indian Ocean as well as mass launches of ballistic ground-to-ground missiles and destruction of hypothetical enemy warships.
The general described the launch of the ballistic missiles that took place from a distance of 1,800 kilometers as a message, warning the enemies against trying to pose threats to Iran’s national interests.
General Baqeri said Iran will conduct massive ground exercises in the coming days.
The exercises, he noted, “indicate that the Armed Forces’ readiness to defend the country’s security and national interests stands at a very high level, and this preparedness will continue to last.”
Iran won’t be intimidated
Iran’s foreign minister also reacted to recent overflights of B-52 planes, noting that the Iranian nation will never be intimidated by such shows of force.
Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted late on Sunday that Iranians are not a belligerent nation and “have not started a war in over 200 years.”
“We don’t shy [away] from crushing aggressors,” Iran’s foreign minister, however, added.
Zarif also advised the administration of the outgoing US President Donald Trump not to waste the American taxpayers’ money on such empty moves, saying, “You should have spent those $billions on your taxpayers' health,” in a clear allusion to grave situation of the United States in terms of controlling the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, which has so far claimed hundreds of thousands of American lives.
Zarif’s tweet came hours after the US Central Command announced that the B-52 “Stratofortress” aircrews conducted a “presence patrol” in the Middle East on Sunday to mark the second such mission in 2021.
“Bomber Task Force missions are observable ways to demonstrate the US military's continuing commitment to regional security,” US Central Command’s Commander Gen. Frank McKenzie claimed in a Sunday statement.
Last week, the US and Saudi Arabia concluded joint war games, with Saudi F-15SE warplanes flying besides American B-52 bombers and F-16 fighters.
The Saudi air force, the Royal Saudi Naval Force, the US Navy, the US Coast Guard and the US Air Force conducted joint air operations in the Persian Gulf between December 17 and 18 last year.
Source: Iran Daily