SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) — The top American army commander has announced that the US and the Israeli regime plan to hold a joint military exercise sometime around October or November to prepare for any confrontation with Iran.
"We rescheduled it for October-November time frame," said General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Friday.
The drill, called Austere Challenge 12, was initially scheduled for April but was apparently postponed due to comments by Israeli officials about an attack on Iran.
The aim of the upcoming maneuver is to test the capability of the duo's air defense systems against missiles and rockets fired form rather distant places such as Iran, reports said.
Meanwhile, the US Senate has recently passed the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 aimed at boosting the economic and security relations between Washington and Tel Aviv.
According the act, the US will make new commitments to preserve the Israeli regime and strengthen the strategic cooperation between the two allies. The bill also supports "Israel's inherent right to self-defense."
It calls for the United States to provide Israel with additional aerial refueling tankers, missile-defense capabilities and specialized munitions such as bunker-busters.
The United States and Israel have repeatedly threatened Iran with a military strike in an attempt to force the Islamic Republic to halt its nuclear energy program, which Washington and Tel Aviv claim has a military component.
Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use the nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Last week, Commander of the Aerospace Division of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh said the Islamic Republic will strongly confront any possible assault against the country.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran has no interest in wars with other countries, but we will strongly confront the enemies' possible aggression and will give them a response that will make them regret the aggression," he stated.—www.shafaqna.com/english/