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Iran marks Sacred Defense Week with massive military parades

Iranian Armed Forces unveil their latest ballistic missile, dubbed Khorramshahr, during a military parade in Tehran, September 22, 2017. (Photo by Tasnim)

Iran has unveiled a new ballistic missile during military parades held across the nation to mark the first day of the annual Sacred Defense Week.

The missile, named Khorramshahr, was put on display during the military parade in Tehran on Friday, with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and senior military officials in attendance.

The ballistic missile, which has a range of 2000 kilometers, is capable of carrying multiple warheads, said Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Division.

"As it was observed, the missile has become smaller in size and more tactical and it will be operational in the near future," he told reporters on the sidelines of the parades.

Addressing the event, Rouhani said no country can stop the Islamic Republic from strengthening its missile capabilities and defense programs.

“We will promote our defensive and military power as much as we deem necessary,” Rouhani said. “We seek no one’s permission to defend our land.”

He added that Iran’s defense power has never been used for aggressive acts, while certain world powers export deadly weapons to the Middle East.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech to the Armed Forces as the country begins observing the Sacred Defense Week, September 22, 2017. (Photo by Mehr)

The Iranian president said Tehran is playing a key role in restoring peace and stability to the region.

“The great nation of Iran has always pursued peace and security in the region and the world, and has always defended the oppressed people of the world. We will defend the downtrodden people of Yemen, Syria, and Palestine whether you like it or not,” he added.

The parades across the country feature military units from various divisions of the Armed Forces, including the Army, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as well as the Police Force. The week-long events are held in commemoration of Iranian forces’ eight-year defense of the Islamic Republic in the face of Iraq’s 1980-88 imposed war against the country.

Rouhani further slammed Washington and Tel Aviv’s recent anti-Tehran statements before the UN General Assembly.

He said the US and Israel have isolated themselves by expressing opposition to the nuclear agreement, which is hailed by the entire world community as a win for international diplomacy.

Rouhani once again reiterated Iran’s full commitment to the landmark 2015 nuclear accord with six world powers, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iranian Armed Forces mark the annual Sacred Defense Week in Tehran, September 22, 2017. (Photo by Mehr)

He said the entire global community commended the deal, “except only two people,” referring to US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who used their UN speeches to attack the JCPOA.

“I am very glad that this year at the United Nations and among all the countries of the world, there were only two voices, which were opposed to that of the people of the world. The US and the occupying regime of al-Quds were the only two voices, which were different from the voice of the entire world.” Rouhani asserted.

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