Ahmadinejad opens military parade by saying anti-Islam film is an Israeli-hatched plot to divide Muslims. Tehran displays missiles capable of reaching Israel, while Air force chief warns that 'Zionist entity will cease to exist' if war breaks out.
During the parade Iran also officially introduced its new air defense system, "meant to confront American warplanes in case of a US attack on the country," the Islamic Republic's media reported.
Iran proudly paraded its military hardware in Tehran on Friday under the gaze of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who used the event to again defiantly lash out at the West and Israel.
The display, involving thousands of military personnel, tanks and missiles borne on trucks, marked the anniversary of the start of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.Among the weapons on display were the surface-to-surface missile Qadr-F, which has a range of 2,000 kilometers (about 1,243 miles) and can reach Israel, and the Sajjil two-stage ballistic missile, which was not displayed in previous
parades. It also has a 2,000-km range. The Fateh-110, Shahab-2 and Qiam missiles
were also displayed.
During the parade, Iran's Revolution Guards Corps' Aerospace Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh warned that the day a conflict begins, "the number of missiles launched would be more than the Zionists could imagine.
"If a conflict breaks out, the Zionist regime would be able to manage the beginning of the war, but the response and end would be in our hands, in which case the Zionist entity would cease to exist," the Fars news agency quoted the commander as saying.Before the procession began the Iranian president lashed out at the West over an anti-Islam video produced in the United States and
the publication of caricatures of the prophet Mohammed by a French satirical
Ahmadinejad said that "in return for (allowing) the ugliest insults to the divine messenger, they — the West — raise the slogan of respect for freedom of speech."
He asserted that this shows a double standard and "is clearly a deception." The Iranian leader spoke during a military parade Friday in Tehran.
The remarks come after a week of protests and riots by Muslims angered by the film that depicts Islam’s prophet as a womanizer, religious fraud and child molester. The violence has left at least 30 people dead.
He called the film an Israeli-hatched plot "to divide (Muslims) and spark sectarian conflict."
In the speech, which was broadcast on state television, Ahmadinejad said that Iran was using "the same spirit and belief in itself" shown in that war to "stand and defend its rights" today against pressure from world powers.
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