Iran warned Israel and the United States against any aggression as it proudly paraded its troops and military hardware, including an all-Iranian-made air defense system, on Sept. 21 under the gaze of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and top brass.
The Tehran parade, involving thousands of military personnel, dozens of tanks and missiles borne on trucks, marked the anniversary of the start of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.
Iran was using “the same spirit and confidence in itself [shown in that war] to stand and defend its rights [against pressure from world powers today],” Ahmadinejad said in a speech broadcast on state television. Top Iranian generals said the show of military might should be digested by Israel, which in recent weeks has ramped up threats that it could hit Iranian nuclear facilities.
“We do not feel threatened by the nonsense uttered by that regime’s leaders,” the chief of Iran’s armed forces, Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, told Fars news agency, adding that Iran’s response to any attack would be “immediate and unstoppable.”
The agency presented the Raad, or Thunder, as more advanced than its Russian predecessor and designed to confront fighter jets, cruise missiles, smart bombs, helicopters and drones.
Missiles to confront US jets
“This system is built with the aim to confront American warplanes,” Hajizadeh said, adding that Raad carries missiles with a range of 50 kilometers, capable of hitting targets at 22,000 meters.
Hahjizadeh also repeated Iran’s promise to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz if Iran was attacked.
Also on display at the parade were Iranian missiles Sajjil-2 and Ghadr F-1, both with a range of about 2,000 kilometers and capable of reaching Israel.