Iran begins construction of $300 million anti-aircraft missile base

New facility near the city of Abadeh will host 7 battalions, says senior commander

Amid increasing talk of a possible Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities, Iran has begun construction of a new, state-of-the-art, anti-aircraft missile base.

The new base, located near the city of Abadeh, in southern Iran, will cost $300 million, be home to 6,000 personnel, and host seven battalions, Iran’s Fars news agency reported Tuesday.

The Deputy Commander of the Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base, Mohammad Hosseini, said the base, the largest of its kind in Iran, will also include one of the most important military training centers in the country.

Also on Tuesday, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled an upgraded version of a short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile just weeks after it was test-fired, Iranian state media reported.

Iran has also been pushing to upgrade its missiles, which already can target Israel and US bases in the Middle East. The Pentagon released a report in June noting significant advances in Iranian missile technology, acknowledging that the Islamic Republic has improved the accuracy and firing capabilities of its missiles.

Iran’s purported military advancements are impossible to independently verify because the country does not release technical details of its arsenals or rely on equipment from major international defense contractors.

Full article: Iran begins construction of $300 million anti-aircraft missile base (The Times of Israel)

“Bold Alligator 2012” drills 20,000 troops on US East Coast for Persian Gulf action

Some 20,000 marines, seamen and air crews from half a dozen countries, a US nuclear aircraft carrier strike group and three US Marine gunship carriers are practicing an attack on a fictitious mechanized enemy division which has invaded its neighbor. It is the largest amphibian exercise seen in the West for a decade, staged to simulate a potential Iranian invasion of an allied Persian Gulf country and a marine landing on the Iranian coast. Based largely on US personnel and hardware, French, British, Italian, Dutch, Australian and New Zealand military elements are integrated in the drill.

Bold Alligator went into its operational phase Monday, Feb. 6, the same day as a large-scale exercise began in southern Iran opposite the Strait of Hormuz. This simultaneity attests to the preparations for a US-Iranian showdown involving Israel behind the words on Feb. 5 of US President Barack Obama (“I don’t think Israel has decided whether to attack Iran”) and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Feb. 3 (“The war itself will be ten times as detrimental to the US.”).

Monday, Feb. 6, the US president ordered the tightening of sanctions by freezing Iranian assets in America and blocking the operations of Iranian banks including its central bank.

Full article: “Bold Alligator 2012” drills 20,000 troops on US East Coast for Persian Gulf action (DEBKAfile)