Iran Army Day 248.88.
(photo credit: AP)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told his nation on Saturday that "no country in the region threatens Iran," just hours after London's The Times published a report claiming that Israel was preparing to attack targets in Iran within hours of receiving a green light from the government in Jerusalem.
Speaking during a ceremony on Iran's Army Day, Ahmadinejad said Iran was one of the strongest countries in the region and that "the gall to threaten the Iranian nation has been quashed forever."
"The Iranian nation is ready to become more involved in maintaining order and security based on justice in many regions of the world," Ahmadinejad said.
His speech on Saturday was much more toned down than Army Day speeches from previous years. In 2006 Ahmadinejad warned that Iran's army would "cut off the hand of whoever dares attack it." In 2007 he said "the resistance of the Iranian people will bring down world powers."
The parade of military equipment on Saturday was also more modest than in previous years. While announcements prior to the parade said 140 jets would fly in formation, only several dozen helicopters dotted the skies of Iran on Saturday. An official explained that weather conditions prevented the jet air maneuvers from taking place.
Shihab and Khader missiles, which are usually driven atop their launching vehicles in the streets of Teheran, were also missing.
But Zilzal missiles, armored personnel carriers, unmanned aircraft and even small submarines surrounded by marching soldiers in diving masks were present. The forces passed before a stage where Ahmadinejad and his top brass were sitting.