Comment | A Message to Tehran, Not Tel Aviv
19 Oct 2012 22:52
[ comment ] As the Iranian presidential election draws closer and the growing severity of Western sanctions makes life increasingly difficult for ordinary Iranians, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has staged war games it says are in defiance of Western threats against the country.
However, the military exercises, dubbed To Beyt al-Moghadas (To Jerusalem), are not centered around fighting a mock foreign enemy; rather, they display the Iranian force's readiness to engage in urban warfare.
Pictures of the war games (see here and here) suggest the boys in khaki and camouflage have had four years to prepare for riots, civil unrest, student uprisings, and any form of urban conflict. Enghelab Square, the scene of anti-regime protests in 2009, is one of the landmarks re-created for the maneuvers.
The Islamic Republic of Iran may want the world to think it is demonstrating what it is capable of to Washington and Tel Aviv, but the real message is for Iranians, particularly the people of Tehran: this time, the government and its armed forces will not be caught off guard.
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