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.
Iran's Arab Minority
The aftermath of a car bombing in Ahvaz on June 12, 2005 (epa)
DISCONTENT IN THE SOUTH: There are approximately 2.07 million ethnic Arabs in Iran (3 percent of the total population of 69 million), most of them living in the region around the southern city of Ahvaz. The region has been the scene of numerous terrorist attacks and demonstrations over the years. Arab groups cite historical grievances, and they bemoan inadequate attention to their culture and language by state media....(more)