TEHRAN Iran celebrated its National Army Day on Thursday by showcasing domestically made fighter jets during a military parade that was broadcast live on state TV.
Among the aircraft was the “Kowsar,” a twin-seater modeled after the American F-5 fighter jet. The jet’s name is an Islamic reference to a river in paradise and is also the title of a chapter in the Quran.
The parade also showcased the Saegheh, or “Thunderbolt,” another domestically built fighter plane. Iran’s air force already has U.S.-made and Russian-made Sukhoi aircraft in service.
Moreover, MiG-29, F-4 Phantom and F-14 Tomcat warplanes also took part in the parade. The maneuvers also saw KC-747 and KC-707 aerial refueling tankers fly from bases situated in the cities of Tabriz, Tehran, Hamedan and Isfahan.
Missiles, submarines, armored vehicles, radars and electronic warfare systems were also put on display.
The military parade comes amid rising tensions between Iran and President Trump, who earlier this month, formally labeled Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a “foreign terrorist organization.”
Units of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army’s Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force and Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base took part in the nationwide parades on Thursday.
In Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani and top military commanders of the Army and Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) attended the parade near the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic.
President Rouhani insisted that Iran was not a threat to its neighbors and their national interests, but merely stood “against invaders…The roots of our problems are the Zionist regime and American imperialism.”
He said it was the power of regional nations and Iran’s Armed Forces – including the IRGC – that foiled America’s ominous plot for the region by defeating its terrorist proxies there.
The Iranian chief executive noted that the US is angry with Iran’s Armed Forces, Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters and Yemen’s Popular Committees due to their resistance against American conspiracies.
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