Iran's Revolutionary Guards stage fresh exercises
TEHRAN (AFP) Oct 28, 2002
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards on Monday kicked off a week-long military exercise in Khorasan province near the border with Afghanistan, IRNA reported.

"The one-week exercise in Attayieh Neishabour region consists of manoeuvres by various units of ground forces aimed at enhancing the country's military capabilities" the commander of the unit, Mohammad-Taqi Osanlu, was quoted as saying.

"The region was in the past the nest of miscreants and armed Afghans, but with the presence of our forces the region has been cleared of such undesirable elements," he added.

"Our unit is equipped with latest military tools and we are ready to defend our borders," Osanlu said.

Iranian officials have voiced mounting concern in recent months over the increased presence of US troops surrounding the Islamic republic, notably across the border in Afghanistan.

Iran's defence minister, Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, recently warned Washington to respect the "red line" of the Islamic republic's border with Iraq, saying his armed forces were ready for "any eventuality".