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Iran To Launch Large-Scale Military Maneuvers

An Iranian military exercise on the Persian Gulf in April (Fars) August 17, 2006 -- Iran's state television today said the military would launch a series of large-scale exercises on August 19.

State television quoted army deputy commander General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani as saying that the upcoming maneuvers "aim at introducing Iran's new defensive doctrine."

Ashtiani reportedly said the exercises would involve both ground and air forces and would go on "for an unspecified period of time."

Addressing reporters at a news briefing on August 16, Ashtiani said the war games would take place in West and East Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Baluchestan va Sistan, and Khorasan provinces.

Most of those peripheral provinces also have large ethnic minority groups.

Iran's Interior Ministry this week said security patrols along the country's borders would be reinforced in a bid to counter the activity of drugs smugglers.

(Mehr, AP)

Iran's Arab Minority

Iran's Arab Minority

The aftermath of a car bombing in Ahvaz on June 12, 2005 (epa)

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