"The military exercise was conducted throughout the country
successfully," Mighani said.
The air force has about 230 aircraft, more than 20 percent of which were
deemed unsuitable for combat. They include the U.S.-origin F-4, F-5 and F-14
and the Russian-origin MiG-29 and Su-24. Teheran has also reported the
production of the indigenous Lightening fighter-jet.
"If Iran is attacked, it will deliver a crushing blow to the enemy,"
Mighani said. "We will surprise the enemy and make them regret they
Officials said the air maneuvers, reported in 15 of Iran's
30 provinces, marked the annual Defenders of Velayat exercise.
Officials said the air force exercise included air defense units,
including batteries ordered from Russia. They said Iranian combat aircraft
were testing new equipment and tactics.
The air force exercise has also included Iran's elite Islamic
Revolutionary Guards Corps. IRGC was said to operate the Russian-origin
aircraft, and on Sept. 16 Teheran announced that the corps would be
responsible for operations in the Gulf.