Iran Displays Military Strength on Army Day
President Ahmadinejad has praised Iran's armed forces and declared Iran is so strong that no one will dare attack it. Iran faces a massive U.S. presence across its borders with Afghanistan and Iraq
Last updated on: April 17, 2010 8:00 PM
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country is so strong no one will even think about attacking it. The president spoke Sunday as Iran marked Army Day with a military parade of the country's advanced missiles and weaponry.
Mr. Ahmadinejad watched as Ghadr, Sajjil and Shahab-3 missiles were brought out for display. The longest-ranged of the Iranian-built surface-to-surface missiles can reach Israel, which the president again denounced, and parts of southern Europe.
The Iranian leader said the nation's armed forces have so much power "no enemy will harbor evil thoughts about laying its hands on Iranian territory."
Speaking before a crowd gathered at a shrine to the Islamic Republic's founding father, Ayatollah Khomeini, Mr. Ahmadinejad also repeated his call for the state of Israel to come to an end. He said the costs now exceed the benefits to supporters of Israel, which he characterized as a "fake" and "declining regime."
Iran's continued anti-Israeli rhetoric has kept Israel from ruling out a preemptive strike against Tehran's disputed nuclear program. Iranian-made missiles are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, which some nations fear Tehran is seeking to build. Iran says its nuclear program has no military component.
President Ahmadinejad also told Western powers to leave the region, saying they should consider their own national security first. He said this was not a request, but an order from the nations of the region.
Iran faces a massive U.S. presence across its borders with Afghanistan and Iraq, though the latter will soon be reduced, as well as in the Persian Gulf.
Despite the proximity, Washington is reported to be at a loss about what to do with a potentially nuclear-armed Tehran.
The U.S. has been trying to beef up its diplomatic handling of the issue, pressing other nations to support a fourth round of U.N. sanctions against Tehran. President Barack Obama raised the issue again during a high-level nuclear summit in Washington last week.
Iran hosted its own nuclear meeting Saturday and Sunday, under the slogan "nuclear energy for all, nuclear weapons for no one." Its main supporters at the meeting were Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.