TEHRAN -- A military parade was held at the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini, the Founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in the south of the metro Tehran area on Friday to commemorate the beginning of Iran’s Sacred Defense Week.
In Iran, the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war is known as the Sacred Defense, and Sacred Defense Week is held on the anniversary of the beginning of the war.
Sacred Defense Week begins on Shahrivar 31 in the Iranian calendar (September 21 this year), which is the day Iraq invaded Iran and began the imposed war on the country in 1980.
Various units of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Iran’s Armed Forces, and the Islamic Republic of Iran Police participated in the military parade, which was covered by 380 national and foreign reporters.
Military attachés of 40 countries based in Tehran attended the event, during which the latest achievements of Iran’s defense industry were displayed.
Ra’d air defense system unveiled
Iran’s latest domestically manufactured air defense system, named the Ra’d (Thunder) system, was put on display for the first time during the ceremony.
The commander of the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) told reporters on the sidelines of the event, “The Ra’d air defense system is the first completely indigenous system of the Sepah (IRGC), which has been designed and manufactured by committed Iranian technicians in the struggle for self-sufficiency.”
“The system has been manufactured with the aim of confronting (hostile) U.S. aircraft and can hit targets at a distance of 50 kilometers and at an altitude of 75,000 feet (22,860 meters),” Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh stated.
According to Iranian websites, the Ra’ad system is equipped with Taer 2 (Bird 2) missiles.
In addition, the domestically reengineered Russian S-200 missile system and the domestically modified Zolfaqar tank were put on display for the first time.
A number of long-range and medium-range missiles, including Shahab-2, Persian Gulf, Zelzal-3, Qiam, Sejjil, Fateh-110, and Qadr-F missiles, were put on display as well.
Iran also displayed the domestically reengineered Sayyad-2 air defense system, and the Alim, Kashef-1, and Kashef-2 radar systems during the military parade.
Iranian people are safeguarding human dignity: Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered the opening speech of the ceremony, in which he said that the Sacred Defense was the climax of the Iranian nation’s reliance on God, unity, and independence.
“The world must be aware that the great and cultured people of Iran, with the same self-belief (and) self-confidence (they had) during the Sacred Defense, and with a view of nations’ rights, are standing firm and are safeguarding human dignity (and) justice in the international arena and the independence of free-thinking people,” Ahmadinejad stated.
Iran will make enemy regret any act of aggression: Army commander
The commander of the Iranian Army told reporters on the sidelines of the event, “The enemy will regret it if it one day decides to attack Iran. We will deliver such a response to them that they will regret their act of aggression.”
Asked if Iran has a military presence in Syria, Brigadier General Ahmadreza Pourdastan stated, “We do not have a military presence in Syria but provide intellectual-economic assistance.”
In addition, the commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force told reporters that the Zionist regime will be demolished if it attacks Iran.
“The Zionist regime may manage (to begin) a confrontation, but we will determine the management and continuation of the confrontation, the level of confrontation, and the end point of the confrontation, and if this happens, nothing will remain of the Zionist regime,” Hajizadeh noted.
Speaking to reporters, the chief of the General Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces downplayed the significance of the 12-day International Mine Countermeasures Exercise 2012 (IMCMEX 12), which the United States began conducting in the Persian Gulf on September 16 in cooperation with more than 30 countries.
Major General Hassan Firouzabadi said that the exercise does not pose any threat to Iran.
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