0525 GMT May 20, 2019
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the drills, the IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Ja'fari said the naval forces of the IRGC are in full control of the Sea of Oman, the strategic Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf.
He added that the drills are aimed at the establishment of security in the Persian Gulf region, and all preplanned objectives of the exercise have been so far met.
The IRGC commander added that the Great Prophet 9 exercise, focused particularly on enemy targets at sea in their first day in order to exhibit Iran’s capabilities in maintaining security in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.
“The maneuvers are of deterrent nature so as to discourage use of force or any effort to create insecurity by our enemies,” he noted.
Message of peace
The Iranian commander also emphasized that the military exercise is meant to convey Iran’s message of security and peace to the countries in the region.
The Great Prophet 9 military exercise started on Wednesday morning with maritime mine operations by speedboats as well as the firing of four coast-to-sea missiles in the Persian Gulf region and the Strait of Hormuz.
Various types of ballistic and sea-launched cruise missiles were fired, and nearly 400 rounds of 107-milimeter rockets struck a huge model a US aircraft carrier. The first phase of the drill concluded later on Wednesday with a parade of marine units and speedboats.
Jafari noted that the IRGC Ground Force will undertake the next phase of the exercise, which will begin at 9:00 local time (0530 GMT) on Thursday morning and incorporate intricate tactics.
A total of 20 new missiles, including underwater ones with a speed of 100 meters per second, were tested during the military exercise.
The drill also featured other military equipment, including speedboats equipped with naval radars, electronic communications systems, cruise missiles with a range of 25 kilometers, anti-ship medium-range missiles, medium- and large-caliber torpedoes, sea mines, heavy machine guns, rocket-launchers and shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles.
Meanwhile, IRGC’s second-in-command, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, said coast-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles as well as naval mines of the IRGC are not restricted to operational radius; and the use of technologies like Limited Laser Range of Intercept has no negative impact on the might of the IRGC Navy.
The top Iranian commander stated that the IRGC has identified all strong points, and technological and tactical capabilities of the enemy, and has upgraded its prowess to befit them.
The IRGC’s second-in-command further noted that the force has unannounced weapons at its disposal that will be put on show only in case of a military aggression.
‘State-of-the-art naval mines’
In addition to the two senior IRGC commanders, Admiral Ali Fadavi, who serves as head of the IRGC Navy, also said the force has state-of-the-art naval mines in its inventory that the US military cannot imagine, noting that the mines can be planted at various depths.
Saying that the IRGC naval forces have numerous extraordinary vessels that are different compared to the ones already showcased, Fadavi added that the vessels come in different sizes and their features will not be made known as long as the enemy has not committed a made does not commit a folly.
Iran has conducted several war games to enhance the defense capabilities of its armed forces and to test modern military tactics and equipment.
The Islamic Republic has repeatedly said that its military might poses no threat to other countries, reiterating that its defense doctrine is based on deterrence.