Tehran, April 19 (IANS) Iran has showcased its latest locally-developed anti-aircraft missiles at an annual Army Day parade. Some of the trucks carrying the weapons were decorated with banners featuring anti-Israel slogans.
The Army Day parade was held in Tehran on Tuesday with troops from all branches of the armed forces taking part. The ceremony also included tanks, armoured vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), fighter jets, radar systems and air defence systems.
Certain parts of the parade drew particular attention, including anti-Israeli banners that read "Death to Israel" in Persian and showed a fist punching through the Jewish Star of David.
Attending the massive military parade was President Hassan Rouhani, who said in his address that Iranians "should always maintain alertness against conspiracies by others and should enhance our deterrent power day by day," as cited by Press TV.
Rouhani said that Iranian forces defend the whole of the "important and sensitive" region of the Middle East, and promised a "vigorous and determined" response to potential aggressors. He also accused "some of the world's armies" of spearheading "intervention in other countries" internal affairs, genocide, terrorism sponsorship, and lack of regard for the people's opinion and law."
According to Fars news agency, Iranian-made Sayyad (Hunter) 3 anti-aircraft missiles was showcased during the parade for the first time.
The Sayyad 3 can also be mounted on the Bavar 373, Iran's locally-developed long-range air defence system. The development of the Bavar 373 was announced in September 2011, shortly after Russia cancelled a contract to supply Iran with S-300 systems, according to UK military think tank Jane's.
Israel's relations with Iran have been strained for decades. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli firebrand leader, vehemently opposes the landmark 2015 nuclear deal that imposed limits on Iran's nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
In previous public statements, the Israeli PM repeatedly claimed Tehran is seeking to annihilate Israel and poses a threat to Europe and the West.
Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump, who previously referred to Iran as the "number one terrorist state", ordered a review of the nuclear deal. Russia earlier voiced concern over Washington's policy towards Iran, saying it disagrees over labelling it a "terrorist state".