Crossfire War – Iran – ‘Blow of Zolfaqar – Sword of Imam Ali’ Wargames

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Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – Eurasia Theatre: Tehran – Kabul – Islamabad/Delhi; Zolfaqar – Sword of Imam Ali – Massive Wargames Maneuvers – Rehersal for Invasion of India – September

Night Watch: ZAHEDAN – These massive “Blow of Zolfaqar” wargame maneuvers in Iran’s southeastern Baluchestan province are Tehran’s preparation for entering the next major war between Islamabad and Delhi, which I suspect is timed to begin next month with the end of the monsoon. Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan all meet near this city, Zahedan, which is perhaps an example of the three nation unified military command that will be directing the offensive. Warlords from Afghanistan may have decided several years ago to renew their acquaintance with India in support of Pakistan when the next war breaks out. That will occur when India decides to use its “hot pursuit” policy and pursues Islamic militants into Pakistan’s part of Kashmir. Islamabad has stated all along that if Delhi ever attacks Islamic groups on Pakistan’s territory they will be forced to respond. That could be the reason for Iranian Rapid Reaction Units taking part in the maneuvers and the use of Chinook helicopters for troop transport. [IRNA]

Iranian Brigadier General Kiumars Heidari, spokesman for the maneuver described their tactical purpose, “Army commandos, parachutists, mobile shoulder-firing units, electronic war forces and rapid reaction units enjoying high combat capability will demonstrate their readiness during the wargames.” Their readiness to reinforce and support Pakistan. The reason why I pointed out that he was Iranian is because I suspect there are military observers from at least two other countries, Afghanistan-Pakistan and perhaps Saudi Arabia also, which conducted ground forces maneuvers with Pakistan in December 2004. Ankara could also have sent observers since they have maintained and strengthened high level military cooperation with Islamabad in the past couple of years.

The “Blow of Zolfaqar-Sword of Imam Ali” refers to the first Imam of the Household of the Holy Prophet and is a symbol of courage and power for Shi’ites. The Ayatollah Khomeini often resorted to such religious-historical symbols during his speeches, especially when rallying support during times of crisis like the dark days of the Iran/Iraq War 1980-88. Then it was used to strengthen the nation’s defenses. The government in Tehran is now of course using the same spiritual forces offensively. This is the first stage of the maneuvers and they coincide with the five days of missile firing tests that also began today from five border provinces, Baluchestan being one of them.

Before this year is over Tehran could stage maneuvers for Iranian units making a similar move into the Balkans in support of Belgrade, with whom they signed a security agreement in January. War in that theatre will of course be used to silence Vienna. Those maneuvers could be conducted in Iran’s Azerbaijan province bordering Turkey.

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Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.