Iranian Military near Azerbaijan-Armenia borders during operation Fateh Khaybar (File Photo)

Iran announced the launch of military exercises under the name “Fateh Khaybar“(Conquerors of Khaybar), on Friday, on its borders with Azerbaijan and Armenia, in the northwest of the country.

In statements to local media, the commander of the Iranian ground forces, Kiomars Heidari, said that the maneuvers were launched with the participation of armored and artillery units, drones, and electronic warfare units, with the support of army helicopters.

And he indicated that the Land Forces Command is carrying out maneuvers to raise the level of combat readiness of the ground forces.

Haidari said that two anti-armor and some other weapons produced by his country will be tested in the maneuvers.

He claimed that “ISIS terrorists came to his country’s borders at the invitation of a regional state during the clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia.”

He said, “Iran is sensitive to changing the official borders of the countries of this region and considers this unacceptable. Legal borders must be protected. The weakness of a country in protecting its borders does not justify another country changing its borders with the support of foreigners. Iran will not allow such a thing.”

Heydari pointed out that his country emphasized the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan during the subjugation of “Karabakh” to Israel of Armenia, adding, “We never defended Israel.”

Haidari did not specify the date of the end of the maneuvers.

It is noteworthy that the decision to hold the maneuvers comes after statements by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, in an interview with The Eastern Herald recently, in which he criticized Iran’s conduct of military maneuvers on his country’s borders, coinciding with the commemoration of the second “Karabakh” battle.

Aliyev added: “Every country can conduct military maneuvers on its territory, as it is its sovereign right.”

On September 27, 2020, the Azerbaijani army launched an operation to liberate its occupied lands in the Karabakh region, after an attack by the Armenian army on civilian-populated areas.

After fierce battles that lasted 44 days, due to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Russia announced on November 10, 2020, that Azerbaijan and Armenia reached a ceasefire agreement, providing for Baku to regain control of the occupied provinces.

© The Eastern Herald