The following are excerpts from statements by Deputy Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Gen. Muhammad Baqer Dhu Al-Qadr and by IRGC Spokesman Gen. Mas'oud Jazaeri:
Gen. Dhu Al-Qadr: The main purpose of these maneuvers is to deter, in light of the political, security, and military circumstances in the Middle East. The Islamic Republic's strategy is defensive and its tactic is offensive. The maneuvers were planned to handle the external threats from the outer-regional power whose forces are in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Gen. Jazaeri: The truth is that the 'Ashuraa 5 maneuvers proved that we had adopted successful tactics that allow us to properly confront any potential enemy. In the field of missile technology development, fortunately, we've had accomplishments and good progress. In comparison with the experience and achievements we've had during the Eight Year War (the Iran-Iraq war) and afterwards we have progressed very much. As for this missile's development, I've said earlier at a news conference that if Israel makes the mistake of threatening and endangering our country's interests, our response will certainly be strong and crucial. I have used the same expressions and said that we would destroy Israel and erase it from existence. These were not empty words. We aren't strong only because we have Shahab 3 missiles, we also have other missile and military capabilities. The truth is that our military force is defensive, however, if the enemy decides to confront us, fortunately, we are capable of crushing the enemy's strategic depth. Therefore, while we act peacefully, we are prepared and ready to respond in a decisive manner against the aggressive enemy. The Islamic revolution adopted the slogan of defense of the oppressed. From the early days of the Islamic revolution we declared that we would always defend the oppressed and those who are collapsing from the burden of oppression. Obviously, in light of this and based on the well-known Islamic values, it's only natural that we be committed to defend the Palestinian people collapsing under the burden of occupation and cruelty. Naturally, we stand by the Lebanese, Afghan people, as well as our brothers in Iraq, who, in my opinion, cannot enjoy even the most basic human rights.