Iranian soldiers march during a military parade as they mark the country’s annual army day in Tehran, April 18, 2019. (AFP)

April 18, 2019

Iran marked its army day April 18, with a massive display of troops, missiles, submarines, armored vehicles and Russian-supplied S-300 air defense system.

President Hassan Rouhani presided over the parade, with armed forces brass accompanying him.

The official IRNA news agency also said that a domestically produced fighter jet Kowsar also flew over the parade. The Islamic Republic announced last November that Kowsar is ready for mass production.

Iran says the Kowsar is “100-percent indigenously made” and able to carry various weapons and is to be used for short aerial support missions. However, some military experts believe the fighter jet is a carbon copy of an F-5, first produced in the United States in the 1960s.

The video tweeted by Young Journalists’ Club in Iran shows the Kowsar fighter and the parade.

An Iranian military expert Hamed Mohammadi told Radio Farda that most of airplanes or helicopters the Islamic Republic claims to have produced are actually are overhauled copies of older aircraft.

Iran’s air force has been limited to perhaps a few dozen strike aircraft using either Russian or ageing U.S. models acquired before the 1979 Iranian revolution.

In his speech, Rouhani said Iran’s armed forces did not pose a threat to its neighbors. “I want to tell the regional countries that the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran are not against you and your national interests. They stand against invaders… The roots of our problems are the Zionist regime and American imperialism,” Rouhani said.

He also unleashed a harsh attack against the United States and Israel, saying that they are at “the root of all the problems in the Middle East”.

The head of Iran’s air force, Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA that “The enemy knows our military power and I doubt they dare to make a stupid and adventurous move against us; But if they do, we will respond in the strongest way possible.”

President Donald Trump’s administration designated the main part of Iran’s military, the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps as a “Foreign terrorist Organization on April 8; a move that angered the Iranian leadership.

At Thursday’s parade, praising the Guards Rouhani called the U.S. move “abhorrent” and said it was an insult to all Iran.

RFE/RL

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.