Iran shows off new air defense systems, declares ‘Death to Israel’
At annual military parade, banners displayed alongside various offensive and defensive weapons call for end of Jewish state
At an annual military parade in Tehran on Tuesday, Iran showed off its new S-300 air defense missile system and other weapons, many displayed under banners calling for Israel’s demise.
The military parade showcased the Iranian-made Sayyad-3 anti-aircraft missile for the first time, its Russian-made S-300 system and a slew of other military equipment.
Some of the trucks carrying weapons were adorned with banners showing a fist punching through a blue Star of David and the slogan “Death to Israel” in Persian.
Attending the ceremony was President Hassan Rouhani, who said that while the Iranian military was “avoiding tensions and encounters” it had to “remain vigilant in the face of plots hatched by the others and increase deterrent power.”
Army day parade in Iran. S300 and death to Israel poster pic.twitter.com/9M8ruf7gKI
— Dudi Cøhen (@dudi_cohen) April 18, 2017
The Sayyad-3 is an Iranian-made high-altitude long-range anti-aircraft missile.
At the beginning of March Iran announced that the S-300 system was operational.
Iran had tried to acquire the system for years to ward off repeated threats by Israel to bomb its nuclear facilities, but Russia had held off delivery in line with UN sanctions imposed over Tehran’s nuclear program.
The system is one of the most advanced of its kind in the world, offering long-range protection against both aircraft and missiles.
Israel had long sought to block the sale, which analysts say could impede a potential Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Other officials have expressed concern that the systems could reach Syria and Hezbollah, diluting Israel’s regional air supremacy.
The Israeli Air Force has trained for a scenario in which it would have to carry out strikes in Syria or Iran on facilities defended by the S-300.
In a 2015 interview, IAF commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel said the S-300 was a “significant but not insurmountable challenge” for the IAF.