Quick bit: Iran kicked off its annual air force drill with 50-year-old U.S.-made McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom fighter-bombers in the forefront.

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Local reports said bombers, jet fighters, and attack and surveillance drones joined the drill, using heavy weapons including laser-guided missiles.

AP reports broadcast vision showed jet fighters and bombers in flight and at takeoff, including ancient U.S-made F4s and F5s, as well as the Iranian-made Saegheh.

Iran bought the American fighters before Washington banned such sales following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

It also has Russian fighters in service.

Undated handout photo provided by Northrup Grumman shows an Iranian F-14 firing a Phoenix missile. The U.S. Navy retired its F-14s in 2006. (AP Photo/Northrup Grumman)

Iran’s F-4 ‘Phantom’ fighter jets fly during an annual military parade which marks Iran’s eight-year war with Iraq. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

Although Iran remains effectively isolated from the world due to sanctions, it has never disguised its desire to play a role in the Middle East as an military enforcer.

As Breitbart News reported, in 2019 Iran’s air force commander on warned his country is ready to fight a war that would end in “Israel’s disappearance.”

“We’re ready for the decisive war that will bring about Israel’s disappearance. Our armed forces are prepared for the day when Israel will be destroyed,” Brig. Gen. Aziz Nasirzadeh said, according to Iranian media reports.

His remarks came hours after three waves of Israeli strikes against Iranian weapons warehouses, intelligence sites and a training camp in Syria that saw 11 people killed.

Iran President Hassan Rouhani waves to the pilots of a domestic fighter jet before an inauguration ceremony of the aircraft, Iran, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Iran said the twin-seat fighter jet is all Iranian-made with advanced avionics and fire control systems. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

More recently a senior Iranian military commander warned U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers in the Persian Gulf will meet a “crushing and fiery response” if they dare to venture near Iran airspace.

Deputy Commander of Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base, Brigadier General Qader Rahimzadeh, said the “smallest potential violation of Iran’s airspace” would trigger the response, according to the semi-official Tasnim news service.

“The country’s airspace is among our redlines and, as enemies have experienced in the past too, the smallest violation will be met with the (Iranian) air defense forces’ crushing and fiery response,” the Iranian commander said.

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to: skent@breitbart.com

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