Iran parades new weapons to mark Iraq war anniversary

Books Wednesday 21/September/2016 17:19 PM
By: Times News Service
Iran parades new weapons to mark Iraq war anniversary

Beirut: Iran marked the anniversary of its 1980 invasion by Iraq by showing off its latest ships and missiles and telling the United States not to meddle in the Gulf.
At a parade in Tehran on Wednesday, shown on state TV, the military displayed long-range missiles, tanks, and the Russian-supplied S-300 surface-to-air missile defence system.
At the port of Bandar Abbas, the navy showed off 500 vessels, as well as submarines and helicopters, at a time of high tension with the United States in the strategic waterway.
US officials say there have been more than 30 close encounters between US and Iranian vessels so far this year, over twice as many as in the same period of 2015.
On September 4, a US Navy coastal patrol ship changed course after an Iranian Revolutionary Guard fast-attack craft came within 100 yards (90 metres), at least the fourth such incident in less than a month, US Defence Department officials said.
In Tehran, the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, declared that Iran wanted peace.
But he said Iran's lessons in the 1980-88 war against Iraq now served as a guide for "our brothers in faith".
Among the weapons displayed was the new long-range "Zolfaqar" ballistic missile. It has "a cluster warhead capable of hitting targets spread over the ground", according to Tasnim.
The Russian-supplied missile defence system on show in Tehran was deployed last month around Iran's underground uranium enrichment facility at Fordow.
Enrichment at the site, around 100 km (60 miles) south of Tehran, has stopped since the implementation in January of Iran's agreement with world powers to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for an easing of sanctions.
Also on display was the Qadr H missile, which has a range of 2,000 km, according to state TV. Iran's ballistic missile programme has been criticised by the West, and the US Treasury imposed sanctions on two Iranian companies in March because of their alleged ties to it.