Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – Eurasia Theatre: Tehran/Delhi – Vienna – Moscow; Iran Tests New 2,000 lb Guided Bomb – Saeqeh Fighter Jet During Five Week Blow of Zolfaqar Wargames – Targeting Extra-Regional Enemies
Night Watch: SHABESTAR – Iran Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar has just announced that Iran has designed and produced a 2,000 lb guided bomb, named Qassad, made by Iranian experts. The country is in the middle of its five week “Blow of Zolfaqar” wargames that began in mid-August and are due to end the third week of September. Najjar stated, “This remarkable achievement, one of the most important of the defense industry in the Iranian calendar year, will add to Iran’s defence potential and concretize its deterrent principle.” [IRNA]
Tehran’s “deterrent principle” is based on their military establishment’s ability to conduct successful offensives to defeat the extra-regional enemies the maneuvers are being used to practice cooperation with regional axis partners like Islamabad-Damascus-Ankara. Tehran also supports Islamic militant groups in the Caucasus that have been fighting Moscow since 1994 and in January Tehran signed a security agreement with Belgrade.
As a further indication of Iran’s progress in modernizing and upgrading its military, Army Commander Major-General Ataollah Salehi praised Iran’s new ability to produce its own warplanes, calling it one of the great achievements of Iran’s defense industry. He was speaking in the town of Shabestar, just 42 miles west of the provincial capital Tabriz in West Azarbaijan, which borders Turkey. General Salehi was asked if the maneuvers were sending any threatening message to regional states and he responded by declaring, “Rather any threat facing the region, is caused by extra-regional enemies. On the contrary, the neighboring states fully cooperate with Iran in this regard.” In this the General is quite accurate. As crossfirewar.com has stated constantly the only capital in the region that is opposed to Tehran’s leadership is Cairo due to Egypt President Hosni Mubarak’s undying hatred of Islamic radicalism, of which Tehran is the center and leader. All the other regional capitals wish to see the defeat of the West, Russia and India. [IRNA]
An example of the new warplane the General was speaking of, the Saeqeh (Thunderbolt) was displayed in action. Salehi stated, “For the first time it carried out a mission to bomb virtual enemy targets on Wednesday in northwest of Iran.” He said the plane was designed, remodeled and improved by Iranian experts at the Sattari Air Base. The basic technology came from the U. S., Russia, China and India, but it was Iranian technicians alone who performed the ugrading. No outside help was needed. The Saeqeh is reported to be on the same level as the U. S. F-18. [IRNA]
I suspect the new guided bomb and aircraft will first see action in India in support of Pakistan, not long after the monsoon ends this month.