Iran displays parts of S-300 air defense missile system imported from Russia in parade on "National Army Day.".
(photo credit: FARS)
Iran proudly displayed parts of its recently acquired Russian S-300 air defense system Sunday in a military parade celebrating Army Day, Fars news agency reported. The missiles themselves were absent from the display.
Every year, Iran's armed forces hold parades across the country to mark Army Day. In a ceremony in Tehran, broadcast live on state television, trucks carrying the missiles drove past a podium where Rouhani and military commanders were standing. Soldiers also marched passed the podium and fighter jets and bombers took part in an air display.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took the opportunity to make clear that his country's armed forces were no threat to neighboring countries.
He appealed to the heads of Syria and Iraq in a cry that, "The Iranian Army is the Islamic Army that protects Muslim countries from terrorism and Zionism," and went on to offer Iranian military assistance should they require it. "Should you need our help, we will assist you," he said.
The parade was attended by heads of the Iranian military, and the S-300 parts were displayed close to the burial site of Ayatollah Khomeini in southern Tehran.
Representatives of foreign militaries whose home countries have embassies in Tehran also attended the parade.
Iran reported in early April that it had began to receive the first part of the Russian S-300 delivery, equipping the nation with technology that was blocked before it signed a deal with world powers on its nuclear program.