TEHRAN – Iran has paraded its military hardware on the anniversary of a Western-backed war on the Islamic Republic in the 1980s, including “the longest-range drone in the world” along with ballistic and hypersonic missiles.
To commemorate the Holy Defense Week, the Iranian armed forces held military parades throughout the country and in the Persian Gulf waters.
In Tehran, President Ebrahim Raeisi and top military and government officials oversaw a parade at the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic, in the south of the capital on Friday morning. The date signifies the initiation of the war by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein against Iran 43 years ago.
Similar parades were conducted in various provinces across Iran, involving the participation of the Iranian Army, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Police, Border Guards, and Basij forces.
The latest military products, including various missiles and drones, are usually put on display at the annual parade. One of the highlights of Friday’s parade in Tehran was the showcasing of two key Iranian missiles, namely Fattah and Paveh.
Fattah, literally meaning “the opener”, is a precision-guided two-stage solid-fueled rocket with a range of 1,400 km and terminal speed of Mach 13 to 15. The speed, along with movable nozzles that allow the missile to maneuver in all directions both in and out of the Earth’s atmosphere, makes it immune to interception by all existing anti-missile systems.
Paveh is a new long-range cruise missile that can travel as far as 1,650 kilometers (1,025 miles).
The parade also included the unveiling of “the longest-range drone in the world” along with Mohajer, Shahed and Arash unmanned aerial vehicles displayed in the event.
The Islamic Republic said last month that it had built an advanced drone named Mohajer-10 with an enhanced flight range and duration as well as a larger payload.
It has an operational range of 2,000 km (1,240 miles) and can fly for up to 24 hours, Iranian media reported then, adding that its payload could reach 300 kg (661 pounds), double the capacity of the Mohajer-6 drone.
In a related development, a senior Iranian military official has highlighted the country’s great defense capabilities and combat readiness in West Asia, saying the Islamic Republic is the “first” defense power in the strategic region.
Brigadier General Reza Talaei-Nik, the spokesman for Iran’s Defense Ministry, made the statement in a ceremony held to commemorate the martyrs of the 1980s Iraqi imposed war on Iran in the western province of Hamedan on Sunday.
“Today, Iran is the region’s prime power in defense,” Talaei-Nik said. “We were all by ourselves before the war, but today they say no equation in the region can be balanced without Iran; this is the defensive power that has been achieved.”
Pointing to various threats posed against the Islamic Republic, the Defense Ministry spokesperson said Iran is in possession of precision strike missiles that are named after top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, who was martyred by the US military in January 2020, and capable of hitting Israel.
“Today, we have missiles at our disposal that we have named ‘Israel-striker’ missiles,” Talaei-Nik said. “We have Israel-striker missiles; Martyr Haj Qassem missile is a missile capable of striking Israel.”