Report: Iran, US holding joint exercise

Drill codenamed Regional Cooperation 2008 focuses on coordinating computer communications.

kyrgyzstan 224.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
kyrgyzstan 224.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Iran and the United States are participating in a joint military exercise in Kyrgyzstan, along with several other regional militaries. The computer command-post exercise codenamed Regional Cooperation 2008 began on July 15 and will end on July 24, the Russian news agency Interfax reported. The drill takes place in line with bilateral military contacts between the Kyrgyz armed forces and the US Central Command, the Kyrgyz Defense Ministry's press service announced, according to Interfax. "This latest development should be seen in two levels," Dr. N. Janardhan, a United Arab Emirates-based political analyst, told The Media Line. "One is certainly positive, given that there have been other interactions between Iran and the US in the recent past, specifically regarding bringing about stability in Iraq. They have also been holding a lot of talks in Baghdad and more recently in Geneva over how to bring about some kind of a solution to Iran's nuclear designs for the region," Janardhan added. Nevertheless, Janardhan asserted, the drill seemed "more like going about fulfilling a formality rather than trying to meet for any specific purpose. "In any case, it is always good that Iran and the US are meeting on the same side rather than being on opposite sides. It is definitely a step forward in terms of trying to bring down the rhetoric," Janardhan said. According to the news report, also participating in the drill are soldiers from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan. The first, theoretical part of the exercise, dealt with the use of computer technologies. The practical part began on July 18 and included interaction between various groups, intelligence, operations, logistics, media outlets and a humanitarian group involved in clearing up the aftermath of emergency situations.