Zolfaqar maneuver, another failure for a faltering dictatorship

Contrary to the ballyhoo created by the regime's state media, the military exercise, code-named Zolfaqar, did not achieve any of its objectives, reliable reports from Iran say.

Despite mobilizing all of its resources, the clerical regime could not deploy more than 50,000 troops for this maneuver, only a quarter of the figure publicly announced by the regime's military officials.

According to the reports received from within the regime, the Zolfaqar maneuvers resulted in more than 200 casualties. Whereas the mullahs claimed that Zolfaqar was their largest ground forces' maneuver in recent years, the exercise's scale was in fact half the scale of a similar maneuver held last year, code-named Velayat.

While the regime is in dire need of a show of force to further its policy of export of terrorism and fundamentalism and domestic suppression, increasing dissent in the rank and file of the army on the one hand and their extensive sympathy to the Iranian Resistance on the other, have limited the regime's ability to carry on with its plans.

A report by the deputy commander of the army's ground forces submitted to Khamenei indicated that only four divisions, two brigades, and two artillery groups participated in the final and main stage of the maneuvers.

Reports from within the regime indicate, however, that on the final day of the exercise, the units' strength was no more than one or two battalions, and that the total combat and combat logistics power of the maneuvering force did not exceed that of a single division.

These reports confirm that the main objective of the Zolfaqar maneuvers launched in Aliabad, Qom (near Tehran), was to prepare the armed forces for any confrontation with the National Liberation Army at the gates of the Iranian capital.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran - Paris
October 2, 1997

Back Home