Iran warns Israel on National Army Day

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi threatened Israel that even the ‘smallest movement’ would provoke a response.

Tehran, Iran – President Ebrahim Raisi has warned Israel against making even “the smallest movement” against Iran.

The remark came on Monday as the Iranian military displayed homegrown weapons and defence systems marking National Army Day.

A large televised parade was organised on the occasion in the capital, Tehran, which was attended by Raisi and Iranian military officials.

“Our message to the Zionist regime is that if you are after normalising relations with some countries in the region, you must know that not even your smallest movements are hidden from our intelligence, security and armed forces,” Raisi said in reference to Israel.

“And you must know that if you make the smallest movement against the Iranian nation, the destination of our armed forces will be the centre of the Zionist regime,” Raisi added.

Iran fired missiles last month at a site in Erbil, the capital of northern Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region. Tehran claimed that the site was being used by Israel, despite denials from the governor of Erbil.

In a message to the United States, Raisi referred to an acknowledgement by US State Department spokesman Ned Price that former President Donald Trump’s so-called “maximum pressure” campaign of harsh sanctions against Iran had failed to achieve its goal of subduing the country.

“This is the faith of those who wish to be hostile to the holy establishment of the Islamic Republic,” Raisi said.

Raisi’s comments come as indirect negotiations with the US to lift sanctions and restore the country’s 2015 nuclear deal have stalled for weeks.

“We have no agreement in hand to comment on,” said Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, on Monday.

The last major remaining sticking point in the negotiations appears to be over lifting the US “foreign terrorist organisation” designation on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Homegrown weapons

After Raisi’s speech, a series of missiles, launch systems, drones, tanks and other military vehicles were displayed.

They included the surface-to-surface Fath-360 missile, the medium-range Majid missile defence system, and the Dezful, the Iranian version of the Russian Tor missile launch system. More than a dozen types of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were also displayed.

Moreover, the Iranian army flew its fighter jets and helicopters over the procession. Two Iranian-made fighters, the HESA Saeqeh and the HESA Kowsar, could be seen flying.

Yousef Ghorbani, the commander of Iran’s Army Aviation, told state television that despite sanctions and arms embargoes against Iran, the country had now become fully self-sufficient in producing military parts for its fighter jets and helicopters.

“We have now passed the era when our vehicles would be grounded due to a lack of parts,” Ghorbani said, adding that work to produce the first Iranian-made helicopters had made “significant progress” and could be completed in the foreseeable future.

The navy chief, Shahram Irani, said the navy would soon officially launch a “maritime security centre” to deepen military cooperation with other countries in the area of the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean, and expand its monitoring of sea activities.

State television also showed a group of Iranian vessels, including warships and submarines, passing through the waters of the Gulf in the south of the country.

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