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Iran launches major military parade (photos)

Report by Press TV; photos by ISNA_UEL

The Iranian armed forces have staged a huge military parade displaying their latest defense capabilities, missiles and rocket launchers.

The parade was held in the early hours of Sunday, the second day of the 'Sacred Defense Week', which marks the 28th anniversary of the start of war imposed on Iran by the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

During the parade, elite units of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and the voluntary Basij force staged marches.

parade in Qom

The country's latest domestically-manufactured military arms, naval weapons and air force equipment were also showcased, including the Shahab-3 missile with the ability to hit targets within a range of 2,000 kilometers.

The parade also displayed the 300km range Shahab-1, the 500km range Shahab-2, and the upgraded 2,000km range Gadr-1 ballistic missiles, according to Press TV.

parade in Isfahan

The Naze'at-6 missile, the 280km range Zelzal-3 rocket launcher and the Kashef Radar were among other weaponry put on show during the parade, which was held next to the mausoleum of the late Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini, in the capital Tehran.

The Iranian military parade comes as Israel and its allies continue to threaten the country with attack over its nuclear activities, despite Iran being a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

In a September 3 television interview, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tel Aviv was determined to use 'any option' to stop Iran's nuclear program should sanctions fail.

On the sidelines of the parade, Iran's Defense Minister, Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar, told reporters that recent enemy threats are not but psychological warfare.

He also said that more than 90 percent of the military equipment shown during the parade were domestically manufactured.

Iranian MP Alireza Zakani told Press TV that the annual military parade is being held to show Iran's enemies that the country is ready for defense.

parade in Persian Gulf

"Iran has never tried to invade other countries and it has always condemned invasion. We have a message of peace and friendship. We are against any kind of violence. However, we will stand up against invasion," he added.

Zakani also said Iran's new achievements in military technology have enhanced its defensive abilities in comparison to the past.

"Many countries supported Saddam against Iran. We had prisoners of war from more than 10 countries. However, we resisted and managed to achieve maximum results with minimum capabilities," he said, in reference to the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war.

See more photos on ISNA's web site.

... Payvand News - 9/19/08 ... --

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