Iran shows military might as tensions with Israel soar

The Iranian armed forces showcase a range of military equipment including drones and long-range ballistic missiles

By AFP

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A member of the Iranian armed forces conducts an army orchestra as a truck carries a missile during a military parade as part of a ceremony marking the country's annual army day in the capital Tehran on Wenesday. — AFP
A member of the Iranian armed forces conducts an army orchestra as a truck carries a missile during a military parade as part of a ceremony marking the country's annual army day in the capital Tehran on Wenesday. — AFP

Published: Wed 17 Apr 2024, 2:23 PM

As regional tensions run high, Iran paraded drones, missiles and soldiers on Wednesday to show it is ready for any response from Israel after launching an unprecedented attack on its bitter enemy.

The Islamic republic carried out its first-ever direct attack on Israel at the weekend in response to an April 1 air strike on its consulate in Damascus which has been widely blamed on Israel.


The operation dubbed Honest Promise "brought down the glory of the Zionist regime (Israel)", President Ebrahim Raisi said at a military base on the outskirts of Tehran.

"This operation showed that our armed forces are ready," he said in a speech addressed to the regular army and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.


Wednesday's parade saw the Iranian armed forces showcase a range of military equipment including drones and long-range ballistic missiles.

Among them were multiple versions of the Ababil, Arash and Mohajer drones as well as the Dezful medium-range ballistic missile and S-300 air defence missile system.

Raisi on Wednesday reiterated warnings against "the slightest act of aggression" by Israel, saying it would lead to "a fierce and severe response".

Israel has vowed to respond to the weekend attack, with military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari saying Iran would not get off "scot-free".

The Israeli army said most of the projectiles fired by Iran were shot down -- with the help of the United States and other allies -- and that the attack caused only minimal damage.

Iran hailed the attack as "successful" and said it "achieved all its objectives" including inflicting damages to the air base and intelligence centre which it says was used by Israel to strike the Damascus consulate.

On Wednesday, Iran's air force commander Hamid Vahedi warned Iran's enemies against making a "strategic error".

"We are 100 percent ready in all aerial fronts," he was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency.

In his speech, Raisi also hit out at countries that had "sought to normalise relations" with Israel.

"These countries are now humiliated in front of their own people which constitutes a strategic failure for the regime" of Israel, he said.

In 2020, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco normalised relations with Israel as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords, vehemently criticised by the Palestinians.

Egypt and Jordan signed peace accords with Israel in 1979 and 1994, respectively.

Iran insists its attack on Israel was limited and carried out in "self-defence" following the strike on its consulate in the Syrian capital.

It said it had informed the United States and given a 72-hour warning to neighbouring countries ahead of the attack.

Late Tuesday, the United States said it would soon impose fresh sanctions on Iran's missile and drone programme and that it expected its allies and partners to follow with parallel measures.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron has urged the G7 Wednesday to adopt new "coordinated sanctions" against Iran.

Asked about fears of a wider regional conflict, Cameron called the situation "very concerning".

In Tehran, where daily activity proceeded as normal in the bustling city centre, some showed support for Iran in case of a possible Israeli response.

"When it comes to defending our homeland, we are willing to go through anything," said 50-year-old lawyer Hossein.

"Our country is currently facing economic sanctions and many people are struggling, but defending our country is stronger than any obstacle."

Fershteh, a teacher, was also defiant. "We are not worried about war because we believe that if God wills it to be a war, I will survive."


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