Republic vows to beef up army after Israel gets aid
Iran’s chief of staff of the armed forces has said a $38 billion aid deal between the US and Israel makes Iran more determined to strengthen its military.
In comments broadcast live on Iranian state TV yesterday, General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri said the US-Israel aid deal “will make us more determined in strengthening the defence power of the country.” He spoke at an annual military parade.
Last week, the US signed an unprecedented new security agreement with Israel that will give the Israeli military $38 billion over 10 years.
Iran does not recognise Israel and supports anti-Israeli militant groups such as Palestinian Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
During a separate parade yesterday in the southern Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, Iran unveiled a new missile, known as Zolfaghar.
It was carried by a military truck that bore a banner printed with a 2013 antiIsraeli quote by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei saying that Iran will annihilate the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa should Israel attack Iran.
Tasnim, the semi-official news agency, which is close to Iran’s hard-line Revolutionary Guard, said the missile is a “long range ballistic” with a cluster warhead. It did not provide further details.
The semi-official ISNA news agency later said the solid-fuel missile had a range of 700km.
Zolfaghar is the name of the sword used by Imam Ali, a cousin of the Prophet Mohammed and his successor according to Shia belief.
The annual military parade marked the 36th anniversary of the start of 1980-1988 war between Iran and Iraq.
MILITARY: Troops at the 36th anniversary parade of the Iran and Iraq war