Iran Marks Sacred Defense Week with Nationwide Military Parades
By Staff, Agencies
The Iranian Armed Forces held military parades across the country, including in the Gulf region, at the start of the Sacred Defense Week, which marks the 39th anniversary of the 1980-88 Iraq-imposed war.
The parades began countrywide on Sunday morning, marking the day when the regime of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein launched a war on Iran 39 years ago.
Forces from the Iranian Army, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps [IRGC], Police, Border Guards, and Basij participated in the parades, which were held in Tehran and 30 other provincial capitals, as well as in the waters of the Gulf region.
During the ceremony, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivered a speech in Tehran, and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani spoke at the stage in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas.
Surface, sub-surface, and hovercraft belonging to the Iranian Army and the IRGC paraded in the Gulf. Above them flew Army fighter jets and helicopters and IRGC aircraft.
Iran’s first domestic fighter jet Kowsar was also in flight.
In the Iranian capital, military aircraft flew above the parade site.
Army and IRGC commandos parachuted down from aircraft both in Tehran and Bandar Abbas.
Iranian military might was showcased at a time of tensions initiated by the United States and Saudi Arabia with Iran. The US has been attempting to put together a maritime coalition to sail in the Gulf following accusations that Iran has sabotaged oil shipping in the waterway.
Tehran has rejected the accusations and said such a coalition will only ratchet up tensions in the region.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have also said they will participate in the US-planned coalition. So far, only Britain has joined.