On December 22, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps started the main and final stage of massive exercises in the Persian Gulf, showcasing an “offensive” component of the country’s defense strategy.
Commeting on the drills titled the Great Prophet 12, IRGC chief General Mohammad Ali Jafari said that “we hope the enemies have more than ever grasped the power of our response.”
“This was a response to allegations made by the enemies who should know that the defense capabilities of the Islamic Republic of Iran are deterrent, and as the Eminent Leader [Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei] has said, ‘if they try to hit us once, they will definitely be hit 10 times more’.”
IRGC Ground Force’s chief Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said:
“On the operational level, these maneuvers are offensive, meaning should the enemy seek to resort to threat and its implementation, it will prompt us to turn thoroughly aggressive and offensive, and pursue targets deep inside the enemy front.”
He added that the goal is to “crystallize a precise and realistic image in the enemy’s mind of our deterrence and defensive equations.”
The drills involve a rapid response unit, special forces, commandos, combat and reconnaissance drones, an electronic warfare unit, engineering corps and Zolfaqar fast patrol craft.
The drills coincided with the deployment of the US carrier strike group led by USS John C. Stennis to the Persian Gulf on December 21. The carrier strike group returned to the area after a long absense.