Iran on Friday announced launching military exercises on its borders with Azerbaijan and Armenia, in the northwestern part of the country.
In a statement, the commander of Iranian ground forces, Kioumars Heydari, said the maneuvers were launched with the participation of armored and artillery units, drones and electronic warfare units, and army helicopters.
Noting that the drills will raise the level of combat readiness of the ground forces, Heydari said two anti-armor and some other weapons produced by his country will be tested.
He claimed that “Daesh/ISIS terrorists came to his country’s borders at the invitation of a regional state during the clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia.”
Heydari said his country emphasized the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan during the subjugation of the Karabakh region by Armenia, adding: “We never defended the occupation.”
Notably, the decision to hold the maneuvers comes after Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, in an interview with Anadolu Agency recently, criticized the “illegal entrance and presence” of Iranian trailer trucks into the recently liberated Karabakh region.
Saying that Iran continues such “illegal” actions despite warnings, Aliyev described the situation as “a disrespect” to the Azerbaijani government.
On Sept. 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 areas.
After fierce battles that lasted 44 days, Russia announced on Nov. 10, 2020, that Azerbaijan and Armenia reached a cease-fire agreement, providing for Baku to regain control of the occupied provinces.