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Iran displays military might in nationwide parades

Watch now: Tehran parades arms on the anniversary of the start of Iran-Iraq war [AFP]

Date of publication: 22 September, 2016

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Video: Iran has held massive military parades displaying missiles, warplanes, tanks and troops in the face of growing tensions with Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US.

Iran showed off its latest military hardware on Wednesday with a display of thousands of missiles, warplanes, tanks and troops amid growing regional tensions.

Iran used the 36th anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq war to parade arms - which included 16 ballistic missiles - through the capital Tehran.

A new missile with multiple warheads - called Zolfaghar - was also on show with a threat directed at Iran's arch-rival Israel written on the side of the truck transporting it.

"If the leaders of the Zionist regime make one false move, the Islamic republic will destroy Tel Aviv and Haifa," it said, referring to two Israeli cities.

According to the commander of the air wing of the elite Revolutionary Guards, General Amir-Ali Hadjizadeh, the Zolfaghar has a range of 750 kilometres [466 miles].

S-300 missiles delivered by Moscow this year were also on show in the capital. Other military parades were held elsewhere in the country.

A large maritime display involving 500 fast patrol boats and warships took place in the Gulf, according to Iranian media.

For the first time, Russian-made Sukhoi Su-22 fighter jets flew over the area of Bandar Abbas, a major port on the Gulf coast.

A record-breaking military aid deal between the United States and Israel makes Iran more determined to strengthen its military, Iran's chief of staff of the armed forces said on Wednesday.

"The recent decision of the American criminals to give military aid to the usurper Zionist regime [Israel], reinforces our determination to increase our defence capabilities," said General Mohammad Bagheri in comments broadcast live on Iranian state television.

Last week the US signed an unprecedented new security agreement with Israel that will give the Israeli military $38 billion over 10 years.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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