Iran plans drills ahead of U.S. vote

Oct. 26, 2012 at 9:07 AM

TEHRAN, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- An Iranian military commander announced the country's army would hold "spectacular drills" for two days starting Monday.

Iranian Brig. Gen. Saeed Arablou said military drills planned for next week will include airborne assaults in coordination with ground forces.

"This maneuver will be one of a kind and among the most spectacular drills ever held by the Iranian army," he was quoted by state-funded broadcaster Press TV as saying.

The drills begin Monday in the western province of Kermanshah. The International Committee of the Red Cross announced in early October it was closing its offices in the western province for unspecified reasons after more than 10 years of work.

The drills are to begin nine days before presidential elections in the United States.

The Obama administration this week said it had considered bilateral talks with Tehran to discuss the controversial Iranian nuclear program. Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of Iran's national security committee, said diplomatic rhetoric from Washington was an "election trick."

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