Iran’s military parade sends message to enemies, regional nations
April 24, 2023

Iran’s annual Army Day was marked on Tuesday with a military parade showcasing the country’s latest military hardware. Iran’s military parade was attended by high-ranking officials, including President Ebrahim Raisi, who reiterated threats against Israel but also offered an olive branch to regional nations.

Interestingly, he refrained from criticizing Saudi Arabia, a move seen as an attempt to improve relations with the kingdom.

The parade saw fighter jets and helicopters flying overhead, as well as tanks, missile systems, and other weapons on display. The event was broadcast live on state television, giving viewers a rare glimpse into Iran’s military capabilities.

Among the weapons on display was the Zolfaqar missile system, which has a range of 700 kilometres and can strike targets with precision. Also showcased were the Shaher sniper rifle, the Hoveizeh cruise missile, and the Qassed smart bomb, which can be guided to its target with extreme accuracy.

The parade was held to celebrate Iran’s regular military, rather than its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, which operates across the wider Middle East and supports Iranian-allied militia groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

While the event was intended to showcase Iran’s military might, it was also an opportunity for President-elect Raisi to send a message to Iran’s enemies. He warned Israel against taking any action against Iran, saying that “any tiny action against [our] country will prompt a harsh answer from the armed forces, which will accompany the destruction of Haifa and Tel Aviv..”

However, Raisi also offered an olive branch to regional nations (read: Saudi Arabia), saying that Iran’s armed forces were willing to work with other countries in the region to create a more secure and stable environment.

“The hand of our armed forces warmly shakes the hand of the regional nations that intend to create security in the region.”

This statement comes as Iran seeks to improve its relationship with Saudi Arabia after years of strained ties.

In March of this year, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and reopen embassies after seven years of tensions.

The parade comes at a time of heightened tensions between Iran and Israel, with the two countries engaging in a series of tit-for-tat attacks in recent months. It also follows recent positive developments in relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, raising hopes that the region may be moving towards a more peaceful future.

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