Iranian Armed Forces have begun holding military parades across the country, including in the Persian Gulf, at the start of the Sacred Defense Week, which marks the anniversary of the 1980-88 Iraq-imposed war.
The parades began countrywide on Sunday morning, marking the day when the regime of slain Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein launched a war on Iran 39 years ago.
Forces from the Iranian Army, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Police, Border Guards, and Basij are participating in the parades, which are being held in Tehran and 30 other provincial capitals, as well as in the waters of the Persian Gulf.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivered a speech before the parades began in Tehran, and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani spoke at the stage in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas.
Surface, sub-surface, and hovercraft belonging to the Iranian Army and the IRGC are parading in the Persian Gulf. Above them will be flying Army fighter jets and helicopters and IRGC aircraft.
Iran’s first domestic fighter jet Kowsar will also be in flight.
In the Iranian capital, military aircraft will also be flown above the parade site.
Army and IRGC commandos will parachute down from aircraft both in Tehran and Bandar Abbas.
Iranian military might is being showcased at a time of tensions initiated by the United States and Saudi Arabia with Iran. The US has been attempting to put together a maritime coalition to sail in the Persian Gulf following accusations that Iran has sabotaged oil shipping in the waterway.
Tehran has rejected the accusations and said such a coalition will only ratchet up tensions in the region.
Saudi Arabia has said it will participate in the US-planned coalition. So far, only Britain has joined.
Domestically-developed military equipment
Among the indigenously-developed military equipment showcased during the parade in Tehran, the Ha’el (Buffer) gunnery system was making its debut.
Ha’el, which is an aerial defense system, has a passive radar, enabling it to detect targets and initiate a launch without being detected itself. It is mobile and is designed to take on low-altitude targets such as cruise missiles, intruding drones, and small flying robots.
The Kaman 12 (Bow 12) combat drone was also showcased during the parade.
Kaman 12 is capable of carrying a payload of four 22.6-kilogram bombs and has a flight range of 1,000 kilometers.
The domestic Bavar 373 (Belief 373) missile defense system was also publicly displayed for the first time on Sunday.
The system has a maximum range of over 200 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 27.
Designed to be compatible with Iran’s geographical features, it is superior to its Russian counterpart the S-300 and American counterpart the Patriot.