1022 GMT February 17, 2019
The drills came on the eve of Holy Defense Week which will start on Saturday, Press TV wrote.
Holy Defense Week is an annual event meant to honor eight years of resistance against the invading forces of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein who launched a war on Iran from September 22, 1980 to August 20, 1988.
Twenty-six military aircraft, including F-4s, Sukhoi-22s, and Tucanos, as well as five helicopter gunships, including Chinooks, will be flown during the drills, said the Army’s Information and Public Relations Deputy, Colonel Yousuf Safipour, IRNA reported.
The military official said the event was used to showcase the country’s power. "Should the enemies and the global arrogance covet the Islamic country's territory, they would be served with a crushing response within a fraction of a second."
The exercises, however, also aim to send across a message of peace and friendship to friendly and neighboring countries.
‘Iran’s regional superiority’
Speaking on the sidelines of the drills, Brigadier General Amir Vahedi, the deputy commander of the air force, asserted that the country had displayed its superiority to the entire world during years of war with Iraq.
“Currently, no country in the region is capable of confronting us at all. We are strong defenders in the face of aggressors, and will make aggressors regret their incursion,” he asserted.
He hailed the state-of-the-art and indigenous quality of the entire equipment used by the country's defense forces.
Vahedi also noted that despite the enemies' desire to create division between the army and the IRGC, the forces maintained optimal coordination and synergy with one another in ensuring the security of the country and its people.
The army and the IRGC are also to hold a joint parade in the capital Tehran and the port city of Bandar Abbas simultaneously on Saturday to mark the beginning of the week commemorating Iran’s eight-year resistance against Iraq’s 1980-88 imposed war.
The joint parade deploys 600 naval vessels and dozens of fighter planes to display the country's deterrent power.
According to IRGC spokesman Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif, the parade “will show that, towards preserving the country's national preferences and interests, the armed forces of the Islamic Republic are prepared to act on the will of its Islamic establishment and people to confront any threat posed by the enemies in this strategic region.”