Iran plans largest air show ever

Military official warns of "destructive response" if Islamic republic attacked.

Iranian fighter jet 248.88 (photo credit: Fars News Agency)
Iranian fighter jet 248.88
(photo credit: Fars News Agency)
Iran is planning the largest air show in its history this month as a further demonstration of the Islamic republic's military prowess. The exhibition will take place on April 18, Iran's Army Day, and will include 140 Iranian fighter jets. In addition, all units in the Iranian army will be represented in the show, a senior Iranian Air Force commander said on Saturday. The show will be a symbol of the army's "preparedness in defending the country," he added. An Iranian military official said on Saturday that Teheran would "surprise its enemies with a destructive response" if Iran's skies came under attack. The bellicose noises coming from Teheran coincided with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's announcement that his country had completed the cycle for producing and processing nuclear fuel. Iran's first nuclear-fuel manufacturing plant was inaugurated this week in Isfahan. Officials said Iran this week tested two new types of high-capacity centrifuges, equipment used to enrich uranium. They said the number of centrifuges Iran was operating at a plant in Natanz had been increased. Six world powers, including the United States, are offering Iran to take part in talks to resolve the nuclear crisis. Iran has been under pressure from the United States and the international community since 2002 to abandon its nuclear program. Western powers fear the program is being used to covertly manufacture nuclear weapons. However, Iran denies this is the case and insists the program is for the peaceful purpose of creating nuclear energy. Teheran upholds its right to possess nuclear technology. Israel and the US have not ruled out the possibility of a military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities if the crisis is not resolved diplomatically.