Rouhani: Armed Forces not a threat to region
Iran celebrated its National Army Day with large-scale military parades across the country, showcasing its latest defense achievements.
Units of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Army – Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force and Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base – took part in the nationwide parades on Thursday.
In Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani and top military brass of Iran’s Army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) oversaw the parade.
The Iranian Armed Forces displayed their new advanced military hardware.
This year’s National Army Day celebrations featured the aerial performance of domestically-built Kowsar and Saeqeh bombers.
The twin-seated Kowsar was inaugurated in 2018, when President Rouhani briefly sitting in the plane’s cockpit inside a hangar before the ceremony.
Moreover, MiG-29, F-4 Phantom and F-14 Tomcat warplanes also took part in the parade. The maneuvers also saw KC-747 and KC-707 aerial refueling tankers fly from bases situated in the cities of Tabriz, Tehran, Hamedan and Isfahan.
During Thursday's event, Iran’s Army also paraded homegrown battlefield personnel carriers, machineguns, tanks, transport vehicles and Iranian-made Talash as well as Russian-made S-300 missile systems.
Missiles, submarines, armored vehicles, radars and electronic warfare systems were also put on display.
During the parade in the south, warships, vessels and destroyers of Iran’s Navy also sailed in the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.
Rouhani reviewed the parade and offered praise for both Iran’s Army and the IRGC.
"Iran’s Army has always been beside people and the Islamic Revolution, making sacrifice to secure our territorial integrity and ensure Iran's independence," Rouhani also said.
The president once again condemned the American policies on the Iranian nation, the latest of which saw Washington designate the IRGC – as a “foreign terrorist organization,” in an unprecedented move that runs counter to international regulations.
The US designation for the IRGC formally took effect on Monday.
Rouhani described the designation as “abhorrent,” emphasizing that “insulting the IRGC is an insult to all (Iranian) Armed Forces, and an insult to the great Iranian nation.”
In the face of America’s blacklisting, “all people stood in unison by the IRGC and will continue to stand by it because the IRGC has always been and will remain at the nation’s side.”
Iran not a threat to region
Rouhani reassured the region that Iran’s Armed Forces and the weaponry on display are for defensive purposes and not a threat.
“I want to tell the regional countries that the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran are not against you and your national interests. They stand against aggressors,” Rouhani said.
"The power of our Armed Forces is the power of the region’s countries, the Islamic world."
The president further warned that the Zionist regime and the US do not favor stability, security, integrity and brotherhood in the region, and that is why they militarily intervene in its countries.
"The region’s nations have lived alongside each other for centuries and never had a problem... If there is a problem, it is caused by others," he said.
"If we have a problem in the region today, its roots are either with Zionism or America's arrogance."
Rouhani called on the Middle East states to "drive back Zionism."
"Let us stand together, be together and rid the region of the aggressor’s presence."
The crimes being committed by the US military in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and other countries have brought nothing other than misery, agony and carnage to the region, Rouhani said.
He said it was the power of regional nations and Iran’s Armed Forces that foiled America’s ominous plot for the region by defeating its terrorist proxies there.
He said Iran sought “regional security and stability.”
Rouhani called on Muslim nations to band together and "restore the historical right of the nation of Palestine," saying, "Zionism ... has been committing crimes in the region for the past 70 years.
"The final victory will surely be with the righteous."
Press TV, AP, AFP and Reuters contributed to this story.