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Iran Claims 'Biggest Army In Region' on Revolution Anniversary

In time for 35th anniversary of Islamic Revolution, Iran showcases domestic military industry in latest threatening posturing.
By Dalit Halevi, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 2/10/2014, 12:45 PM

Iranian Armed Forces march in Tehran (file)
Iranian Armed Forces march in Tehran (file)
Reuters

To mark 35 years since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, the regime held a special display of the nation's domestic military industry advances in the last decade, bragging that it has the "biggest army in the region."

The pinnacle of Iranian warfare was presented in the Shihab 1, 2 and 3 missiles, which feature a range of up to 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles), enabling them to strike Israel. The missiles are fired from subterranean launchers, making them difficult to detect by satellite.

According to the Iranian army, the Shihab missiles can be fired rapidly in response to an attack.

In addition, the army boasted its Khalij Fars rocket, a supersonic ballistic missile developed for strikes on naval targets. The current version of the rocket has a 300 kilometer (186 mile) range, and is being developed to upgrade that range. The rocket features a 650 kilogram (1,433 pound) warhead.

Iran has developed several drones, the most advanced being the Fotros whose 2,000 kilometer radius allows it to strike Israel. The drone can stay airborne for 30 hours, and aside from intelligence gathering is armed to attack.

The army took the opportunity to showcase its domestically produced Saeqeh fighter jet as well, which is modeled after the F-18, along with the Qaher 313 stealth plane and combat helicopters based on the Cobra. 

Iran hasn't neglected its navy either; the Islamic regime showed off its battleships which include a 94 meter (308 feet) long ship weighing 1,500 tons, submarines including miniature submarines, as well as speedy patrol ships.

Additionally, an advanced radar was displayed called Dhu al-Fiqar, after the name of the sword given by Mohammed, the founder of Islam, to his son-in-law Ali, who is considered the inheritor of Islam by the Shia Muslims who rule Iran. The radar is built to locate low-flying rockets and tanks.

The flexing of military muscle follows threats by Iran on Saturday to the US, warning that it could strike American warships in the Persian Gulf. The same day, the country sent a naval fleet towards American maritime borders, a move the US downplayed.

America has lifted sanctions on Iran as part of an interim agreement, even as Iran reiterated on Sunday that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors are forbidden from visiting the Parchin military base, long suspected as a site of nuclear bomb detonator tests.

Last Friday, Iranian TV aired a documentary simulating attacks on the US and Israel.