Iranian-Built Fighter Jets On Display At National Army Parade

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The Saeqeh fighter jet buit in Iran for the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) will take pride of place on today’s parade

DOMESTICALLY-BUILT fighter jets will be on display for the first time during Iran’s National Army Day parade taking place today.

The deputy commander of the Iranian Army’s Air Force announced that the Kowsar and Saeqeh bombers, built in Iran, will star in the  annual military parade, which marks the National Army Day.

Brigadier General Hamid Vahedi made the remarks on Tuesday on the sidelines of an exercise session featuring the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) fighter jets ahead of the April 18 Army Day parade.

‘The major difference between this year’s parade and those held in previous years is that it will include Kowsar and Saeqeh domestic hunter bombers,’ said the commander.

‘This will prove to the world that the US sanctions will stop short of impeding us.’

In addition to Kowsar and Saeqeh, MiG-29, F-4 Phantom and F-14 Tomcat warplanes will take part in the upcoming parade.

The manoeuvres will also feature KC-747 and KC-707 aerial refuelling tankers, which will be flown from bases situated in the cities of Tabriz, Tehran, Hamedan and Isfahan.

Over the past years, Iran has made major breakthroughs in its defence sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing military equipment and hardware despite sanctions and economic pressures imposed on the country.

The Army’s Ground Forces are to also unveil new military hardware, including armoured vehicles, armour piercing weapons, unmanned aerial vehicles and electronic warfare equipment.

During the parade, the Iranian Army’s Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defence Base will also display the S-300 missile defence system, the domestically-manufactured high-altitude and solid-fuel Sayyad 2 (Hunter II) missiles, Sayyad 3 (Hunter III) missiles, short-range and long-range radars and electronic warfare systems, he added.

The senior commander noted that the Iranian Army will also use its Saeqeh, Raad and Azarakhsh aircraft and perform aerial refuelling operations on Thursday.

Heidari said Iran has achieved self-sufficiency in the technology needed to manufacture armoured and anti-armour equipment, artillery, drones and helicopters.

The Iranian Army’s Ground Forces plan to sign an agreement with the Defence Ministry to get Karrar (Striker) tanks, which constitute Iran’s most advanced domestically-built tank that is also among the most powerful tanks in the world, he added.

In March 2017, Iran unveiled its most advanced domestically-manufactured tank of amphibious mobility for induction into the country’s armoured assets.

Iran unveils the first indigenously-produced advanced tank of amphibious mobility to join its armoury.

The tank’s missile power is boosted with ballistics computer, laser-guided targeting, and the potential for both the gunner and military commander to aim the projectiles from two parallel gunsights fitted onto the vehicle at the enemy targets.

The Islamic Republic maintains that its military power poses no threat to other countries and is merely attentive to its military doctrine of deterrence.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Heidari noted that the military parade will not be held in flood-affected provinces of Golestan, Khuzestan and Lorestan.

Massive downpours began sweeping Iran on March 19, with raging currents of water battering houses, washing away cars and killing people in a few provinces.

The intense rainfalls eventually caused rivers to burst their banks, and dams to overflow, triggering the worst flooding in decades in 25 of the country’s 31 provinces.

Iran’s Forensic Medicine Organisation on Sunday put the death toll from the ongoing floods at 76. Most recently, the organisation said, flooding claimed the lives of five people in Khuzestan province and left a sixth person dead in the western province of Ilam.

Meanwhile, a senior Iranian official says the US’s decision to blacklist Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) is rooted in Washington’s dissatisfaction with the elite military force’s numerous victories against terrorists in regional countries.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a top advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on international affairs, made the remarks during a conference held at the Islamic Azad University in support of the IRGC on Monday.

Given the IRGC’s achievements in the region, the Americans finally revealed their true intention and sanctioned the Iranian force as a ‘terrorist group’.

‘It has been a notorious habit and outdated weapon of the West to call anyone who opposes it “terrorist” and to portray any country that refuses to do its bidding as a human rights violator,’ Velayati said.

With an eye on America’s recent blacklisting of Iran’s IRGC, a former Iranian ambassador to France draws parallels between past and present US policy to display America’s mistaken approach toward Iran.

The reason behind the blacklisting of the IRGC is that ‘Iran has laid the foundation for true cooperation among major countries in the region, and that Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine have formed a resistance front which acts as a unified force wherever a problem emerges,’ Velayati noted.

He also stressed that Daesh failed to seize Damascus and Baghdad firstly due to the Iraqi and Syrian people’s cooperation and secondly thanks to Iran’s support.

Daesh unleashed a campaign of death and destruction in Syria and Iraq in 2014 and managed to make sweeping territorial gains in both Arab neighbours.

At the request of the governments in Damascus and Baghdad, the IRGC’s military advisors rushed to the aid of the national Syrian and Iraqi armies, paving the way for them to undo Daesh’s gains and rid their countries of the Takfiri terror outfit in late 2017, despite widely-reported attempts by the US and its allies to prevent Daesh’s collapse.

During Monday’s event, dubbed ‘I am an IRGC member too,’ the Islamic Azad University signed a declaration of allegiance to the elite military force.

In the declaration, the Iranian academics expressed disgust at the policies adopted by the ‘unwise’ and ‘terrorist-sponsor’ administration of US President Donald Trump, voicing full support for the IRGC.

By targeting the IRGC, it added, ‘the US government once again strengthened the unity within the ranks of the Iranian nation,’ calling the move the ‘most important and obvious’ sign of Washington’s defeat and isolation in the region.

Last week, the White House labelled Iran ‘a State Sponsor of Terrorism’ and the IRGC a ‘foreign terrorist organisation,’ claiming that the elite force ‘actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft’.

Iran swiftly retaliated, with the Supreme National Security Council designating the US government a supporter of terrorism and its West Asia force, known as the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), a terrorist organisation.

On Monday, the Iranian parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy passed a double-urgency motion to take a reciprocal measure against the hostile US move.